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Jan 10, 2019 | Headlines

Zoomlion Saga: 22 CSOs Commend Nana Addo, Want SP to Prosecute Officers

By Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri
Nana Addo
Nana Addo

About 22 national anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the umbrella of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) are in love with the President’s decision to terminate the Zoomlion’s US$74 million contract.

They said, this firm action is the beginning and a true reflection of President Akufo Addo’s ‘No Nonsense’ character.

The contract, which was awarded to the waste collection company in November 2016 by the previous NDC administration to supply waste bins to the various assemblies has been canceled by the current Government for procurement infractions and non-performance.

This was after JoyNews’ Investigative journalist Manasseh Awuni Azure found that, in the procurement of one million waste bins and 900,000 pieces of disposable bin liners, prices were inflated by at least ¢148 million in clear violation of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663).

In a statement signed by Nana Osei-Bonsu, Board Chair of GACC, the group noted that public procurement is the most vulnerable to corruption because of the volume of transactions involved and the financial interests at stake.

They noted that corruption risks in public procurement are also exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders.

The group is calling on the Special Prosecutor to investigate the procurement infraction and prosecute same.

They also want investigative journalists like Manasseh Awuni Azure commended for their perseverance and persistence to protect the public purse.

Read Full Statement Below:

US$74million Jospong contract Cancelled: Government action commendable

The coalition of national anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the umbrella of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) following media publications by JoyNews and the Daily Graphic dated January 9, 2019 and January 10, 2019 respectively, wishes to commend the government for cancelling the US$74 million contract awarded to Jospong Group of Companies to supply waste bins to the various assemblies for procurement infractions and non-performance.

This action comes after JoyNews’ Investigative journalist Manasseh Awuni Azure found that, in the procurement of one million waste bins and 900,000 pieces of

disposable bin liners, prices were inflated by at least ¢148 million in clear violation of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663).

Public procurement is the most vulnerable to corruption because of the volume of transactions involved and the financial interests at stake. Corruption risks in public procurement are also exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders.

Transparency in public procurement not only promotes accountability but also serves an important role in levelling the playing field for businesses and allowing small and medium enterprises to participate on a more equal footing.

We believe the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) should be adequately and effectively enforced and the award of waste management contracts should be decentralized to allow various assemblies to award their contracts at the local level under the supervision and monitoring of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

We urge that, despite the cancellation of the contract, the Office of the Special Prosecutor pursuant to its function under section 3(1)(a) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) should investigate the procurement infraction and prosecute same.

It is also clear that journalists are critical players in the anti-corruption fight, therefore, to stop corruption, investigative journalists like Manasseh Awuni Azure must be commended for their perseverance and persistence to protect the public purse and we believe journalists must be able to work in an environment where their independence and safety is guaranteed, where whistleblowers are protected, where citizens armed with information demand better from their society and their leaders and where anti-corruption legislation is adequately and effectively enforced.

The government is also urged to speed up ongoing investigations in the award of 194 million Ghana Cedis Fumigation contract to the Jospong Group and to apply the necessary sanctions if the contract is found to contravene the Procurement Act (Act 663).

Yours in the service of Ghana.

SGN

Nana Osei-Bonsu, Board Chair, GACC, on behalf of the under listed CSOs

Designation and Organization

  1. Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
  2. Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
  3. Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
  4. Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)
  5. Afrobarometer
  6. Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP)
  7. Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG)
  8. SEND-Ghana
  9. PENPLUSBYTES
  10. Financial Accountability & Transparency-Accra (FAT-Africa)
  11. ISODEC/CSO Oil and Gas Platform
  12. IMANI – Ghana
  13. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)
  14. West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)
  15. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)/RTI Coalition
  16. Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA)
  17. Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability – ACILA
  18. Parliamentary Network Africa – PNAfrica
  19. CSO Platform on IMF
  20. WILDAF Ghana
  21. Citizens Movement Against Corruption (CMaC)
  22. Legal Resources Centre (LRC)

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