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08.09.2005 General News

Addo-Kufuor Cited for financial irregularities

Addo-Kufuor Cited  for financial irregularities

VARIOUS SUMS of money totaling ¢121.5 million released by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to Hon. Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, Member of Parliament for Manhyia, as MP's Common Fund have been cited by the Audit Service as part of financial irregularities.

About ¢65 million was released to the MP for the construction of a 20-seater toilet at Ashanti New Town, while ¢11,956,000 and ¢45 million were also released for the extension of electricity supply to the Duase R/C Primary School and the construction of a six-seater toilet at Moshie Zongo respectively.

In addition, an amount of ¢40 million from the MP's Fund to Dr. Addo Kufuor on August 22, 2003 as special imprest for the construction of a 20-seater water closet at Ashanti New Town, has since not been retired.

The amount, ¢40 million, did not reflect in the Assembly's financial statement for 2003, the report disclosed.

Dr. Addo Kufuor, who is also the Minister for Defense, like other MPs, failed to refer to the assembly his initiated projects to KMA's Tender Board for evaluation and recommendation.

Other MPs mentioned to have contributed to the irregularities are Honourable Edward Osei Kwaku, then MP for Asokwa West, and Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, then MP for Old Tafo-Suame.

The KMA paid ¢3 million to Osei Kwaku for the completion of a masters' common room at the Asokwa/Amakom JSS, while Kyei Mensah was liable for ¢22 million for the construction of a toilet at Old Tafo.

At the Manhyia Sub-Metro office, the audit disclosed that in September 2003, a contract of ¢50 million was awarded to House Water System Limited for the construction of two bore holes at Pankrono, a suburb of Kumasi.

This contract was awarded without any regard for contract procedures as stated in section 2 and 11(i) of the Local Government District Tender Board (L. I.1606) and it was awarded on selective bidding instead of open tender procedures.

The auditors informed that competitive bidding allowed contracts to be awarded to most competent bidders and at less cost to the organization awarding the contract.

“Without outing the contract to open tender, there was no assurance that the contracts were awarded to the most responsive contractors,” the report stated.

Worse still, the audit team realized that a number of contract payments made between April and December 2004 were without tender, contrary to contract award procedures as outlined in the Local Government Act (Act 462) and the Public Procurement Act of 2003 (Act 663.

The audit report further indicated that there was no evidence of any contract agreement between the MPs and the contractors.

Furthermore, contract payments made were not based on the Metro Engineer's inspection report or certificates.

On contract management at KMA, the report indicated the MP's did not comply with the financial rules and regulations (L.I.1606) governing the award of contracts, particularly with regards to the role of Tender Boards.

Meanwhile, Mr. Abed Atta Annor, the Manhyia constituency secretary, admitted the release of ¢40 million to the MP for Manhyia for projects but the contractor was yet to issue receipts covering the amount.

Dr. Addo Kufuor declined to talk to The Chronicle because he claimed the paper was not one of his supporters.

Speaking in a telephone interview from his Danyame residence in Kumasi last Saturday, the Minister accused The Chronicle of writing ill of him and thus thwarting his efforts at clamping down on crime in Kumasi particularly.

Still more to come on the KMA Audit report.