27.04.2004 Business & Finance

Auctioneers' Registration Board sworn into office

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Accra, April 27, GNA - A nine-member Ghana Auctioneers Registration Board was on Tuesday sworn into office with a call on them to streamline and regulate the activities of Auctioneers to conform to the dictates of laws governing the profession.

The Board has Mr Edwin Barnes, Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior as its Chairman, with Joseph Tamakloe of the Registrar-General's Department, Mr K.K. Amoah of the Ghana Police Service, Mr C.P. Ansah of the Ministry of Local Government and Mr Charles Sagoe of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, as members.

The rest are Major Albert Okine (rtd) of the Ghana Auctioneers Association, Mr Enoch Cobbinah of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Alhaji Nuhu Billa, a retired Public Servant and Mr Victor Kwasi Nkpe, an administrative consultant.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of the Interior, who swore the Board members into office, tasked them to help in determining the criteria of who qualified as an auctioneer, to help in the process of registering Auctioneers in the country.

He noted that since the Auction Sales Law of 1989- (PNDC Law 230) which was passed to register and grant licences to Auctioneers and revoke or suspend such licences, it had not been possible to institute a Board which would have helped in its implementation, particularly the regulation of auctioneering in the country.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman said the Government, believing in the need to ensuring that the rule of law prevailed in all facets of the Ghanaian society, had decided to make operational the PNDC Law 230 by establishing the Board.

He said that auctioneering, like any other profession, needed people with the appropriate training to ensure that it was practised with all the objectivity that it deserved.

The Minister noted that the absence of the Board had meant that there had been no registered licensed Auctioneers since the law came into being, so certain people called themselves Auctioneers and practised as such, with no legal basis for using that title.

"The net result is that the auctioneering profession is currently made up of people most of whom have no understanding of the basic principles of auctioneering."

He said most Auctioneers seemed to have acquired their knowledge from working as apprentices of others whose knowledge of the profession left much to be desired.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman said the practice of auctioneering in the country was beset with too many problems, with attendant conflicts among the practitioners, and that following from this, the Board should be able to evolve a Code of Practice to guide registered Auctioneers.

One critical aspect of such a Code, he said, should relate to how auctions were conducted, because it was known that in many instances, Government lost substantial resources when public property was auctioned.

He called on the Board to institute measures to help monitor the performance of Auctioneers, develop and apply appropriate sanctions to auctioneers found wanting in their duties.

Mr Barnes, who spoke on behalf of the Board, said it would ensure that there was a review of the activities of auctioneers to bring sanity into the conduct of auctioning in the country, adding that the Government needed to derive maximum benefits from the auction of state properties.

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