The Ministry of Defence has not caused any financial loss to the State, a statement signed for the Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo Kufour said on Monday. The statement is in reaction to information making the rounds in certain circles about a contract for the supply of four transport helicopters to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) by M/S Wellfind Limited of the United Kingdom. The statement signed by Mr F.O. Mpare, Chief Director of the Ministry, said the Ministry was being guided by the policy of transparency and adherence to the laid down procurement procedures of military hardware in the acquisition of the helicopters. The statement explained that the Ministry signed a contract agreement with M/S Wellfind Limited for the supply of four transport helicopters to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on August 20, 2002. "The contract made provision for training of Ghana Air Force personnel as well as spares and tools. "This agreement was entered into with the understanding and knowledge that M/S Wellfind Limited had concluded arrangements with Messrs Kazan Helicopters of Russian Federation for the supply of the helicopters. "However, that Messrs Kazan Helicopters have informed the Ministry that Messrs Rosoboronexport of Russian is the exclusive state enterprise for the supply of services and products including all types of helicopters produced by Kazan Helicopters. Under the circumstances, the statement said, the Ministry of Defence sought the advice of the Attorney General on the matter to resolve the issue without prejudice to the obligation entered into with Wellfind Limited. "Messrs Wellfind Limited was, therefore, requested to produce written evidence from Kazan Helicopters confirming that presently Wellfind Limited has the authority of Kazan Helicopters to supply the helicopters, spares, tools and training under the contract between Wellfind Limited and the Ministry of Defence." It said the Ministry of Defence, therefore, decided to suspend the contract with Messrs Wellfind Limited for further due diligence to be conducted to ascertain the authority of Messrs Kazan's position. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was subsequently advised to stay action on any payment due Messrs Wellfind Limited under the agreement. The statement said, in pursuit of seeking value for monies spent on procurement of Military goods and services, the Ministry made representations to Messrs Kazan Helicopters to ascertain relevant information in respect of the contract.
"In view of this we wish to emphasize that: The Armed Forces Council under the chairmanship of the Vice president, was duly briefed on the transactions concerning the procurement of four transport helicopters. " The Attorney General and Minister of Justice was consulted on the contract.
" Further due diligence exercise was conducted to ensure that this Ministry does not cause financial loss to the State. "No contract has been signed with the Russians neither had any payment been made to the Russian Company.
"Finally Messrs Weelfind Limited has been offered the opportunity to indicate whether they can meet their obligations under the terms of the contract within a specified time frame.