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03.07.2005 General News

Delay On Bagbin’s Gpha ‘Chop Chop’



Apparently worried about the delay of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to conclude its deliberations on the unauthorised spending on the Minority Leader, Hon. S.K. Alban Bagbin by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the Auditor-General's Department has requested the Committee to furnish it with its (Committee's) position on the report submitted to it on the matter.

A letter signed by the Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman and addressed to the Chairman, Public Accounts Committee – which was intercepted by The Crusading GUIDE – read in part, “you will recall that before the last recess of Parliament, I appeared a number of times before your august Committee to testify and assist you on the above report. Hearing was temporarily suspended because of the unavailability of Hon. Bagbin during most of the sittings”.

The letter, dated May 31, 2005, indicated that the Public Accounts Committee's position was needed “in order to bring the issue to a close”.

In its edition of November 4-10, 2004, The Crusading GUIDE stated that there were frantic efforts underway by some NDC members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to get the Committee to fast-track its review of the Auditor-General's Special Investigations into unauthorised expenditure made by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on Mr. Bagbin with the aim of exonerating him over the adverse findings made against him in the Report. That report was vehemently denied by Hon. Bagbin and an effort was made to cite this paper for contempt of Parliament only to be saved by the bill as the last Parliament rose towards the election.

The Report of the Auditor-General dated January 2004 was submitted to the Speaker of Parliament via a transmittal letter dated February 4, 2004. The Report was the outcome of an investigation which began in 2002 and took over 18 months to complete.

This paper reported further that “the details of the Auditor-General's Special Investigations as contained in the Executive Summary of the Report were that in October 1999 Hon. S.K. Bagbin applied to GPHA for ¢18.57 million to support the income generating activities of Sombo Women Group in Wa. GPHA approved the application and released the amount to ITTU, Wa, for the installation of certain machinery and equipment”.

Hon. Bagbin, according to the Report, claimed ¢4 million out of the ¢18.57 million which was not satisfactorily explained nor properly accounted for. The report also stated that the honourable Minority Leader had used GPHA vehicles for his electioneering campaigns in 1996 in and 2000 without the appropriate authority.

“The Report recalled that Messrs James Quagraine and Co. Chartered Accountants, on December 27, 2001 was appointed by the Auditor-General to audit the bank account of GPHA for the period January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2000”, this paper reported.

The Accounting firm submitted its report to the Auditor-General in September 2002 and made certain observations, conclusions and recommendations. Stay tuned for further developments.