Government to probe missing 757 cars
Government, would soon set up a committee of enquiry to investigate the whereabouts of 757 vehicles, which were imported into the country by the Kufuor administration, and has gone missing, The Chronicle newspaper reports.
The 757 vehicles were part of 882 vehicles and 86 motorbikes imported into the country by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government between 2003 and 2008, at the total cost of $20,174,159.39.
The decision follows the official rejection of a list of 385 vehicles and 35 motor bikes submitted by the former Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, of which only 125 have been traced. Official documents according to The Chronicle, which were prepared by the government transitional team revealed that on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, the Joint Transitional Team on Executive Assets met at the Castle and the Chairman of the main Transitional Team for the outgoing administration. Mr. Mpiani banded over notes that included list of vehicles to the Chairman of the Executive Assets Committee Dr. Don Arthur.
The report noted that the list made available by Mr. Mpiani was difficult to comprehend and as a result, the Chief Director at the Castle was tasked to review the issue further and the revised list of 381 vehicles and 35 motorbikes that was submitted was summarized as follows: President - 46 vehicles, Vice President- 37 vehicles, Chief of Staff - 21 vehicles, General Administration - 49 vehicles, Cabinet Secretariat - 9 vehicles, VlPPU list - 111 vehicles, Ministers - 63 vehicles, Deputy Ministers - 45 vehicles, Castle 35 Honda Motor bikes.
The report noted that a sub-committee put in place by the transitional team to physically inspect the list of vehicles submitted by Mpiani came out with the following: President - 11, President's Residence 9, First Lady - 11, Presidential Staffers 60, Secretary to the President - 3, Vice President - 13, Vice President's Secretariat - 13, Vice President's Security - 3, and 2nd Lady's office - 2.
The report indicated that when the transitional team cross-checked the records vehicles imported by the previous government from Customs Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS), it discovered that as many as 882 vehicles and 86 motor bikes were imported between 2003 and 2008 by the then government.
It emphasised that in 2003, 62 vehicles and 16 motorbikes were imported, 2004 - 156 vehicles and 40 motorbikes, 2005 - 95 vehicles and 30 motorbikes, 2006 - 114 vehicles, 2007 - 394 vehicles and in 2008, 61 vehicles.
The report observed that the handing over notes of Mr. Mpiani contained a narrative on the office of the President which described the general profile, describing the mandate, vision/mission statement, organizational charts, Departments/Agencies under Government Machinery, Regional responsibilities, and key issues for next 90 days.
The rest included staffing position of the Office of the President and a description of Equipment/items at the Castle offices described as Assets Register 2008.
The report stressed that the notes handed over by Mr. Mpiani should have provided information on Stock of Government Assets, i.e. buildings, bungalows and vehicles received in 2001, additions to assets and disposals between 2001 and 2008, stock of assets (land, buildings, bungalows, vehicles, etc.) as at January 7, 2009, and details of bungalows sold between 2001 and 2008, the beneficiaries and amount realized.
The rest should have been information on sale of government lands between 2001 and 2008, the beneficiaries and amounts realized in respect of In-filling Scheme for Airport, Cantonments, Roman Ridge and Ridge residential areas and redevelopment exercise and GIMPA as one of the institutions under the Presidency, and special projects such as the Jubilee House, [email protected] celebrations, UNCTAD XII and AU conference.
The report therefore recommended that a Committee of Enquiry should be set up to investigate the issue.
The Deputy Information Minister, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa would not comment on the Committee of inquiry that is going to be set up. According to him, the issue about the vehicles has become very sensitive, hence he did not want to comment on it.