The Board of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has recommended that a report which 'fingers' the Auditor General in an alleged illegal purchase of vehicles for the Audit Service should be forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for appropriate action to be taken.
This follows investigations by the PPA into the purchase of some 32 vehicles for the Audit Service without recourse to the regulations of the PPA.
The investigations revealed that the purchase of the vehicles was not done in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.
In September last year, DAILY GUIDE learnt that the Audit Service used part of its 2017 budgetary allocations, as well as funds from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to purchase a number of vehicles.
The information indicated that the Service spent a whopping GH₵7.6 million to purchase a number vehicles for the Audit Service without going through the right public procurement processes.
Although the purchase of the vehicles went through the Procurement Authority, the expenses were above the threshold mandated by the Auditor-General, his deputy, as well as the Entity Tender Committee of the Audit Service in contravention of the law.
The Service claimed it received concurrent approval from the PPA to purchase the vehicles as the amounts involved were above the approved limits of the Auditor-General and the Entity Tender Committee of the Audit Service.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Audit Service put the number of vehicles purchased at 32 which cost GH₵6,870,511.65.
But documents available to DAILY GUIDE clearly showed that the Entity Tender Committee of the Audit Service spearheaded the approval of funds for the purchases.
Information gathered also indicated that the Service purchased vehicles with funds from USAID, putting the amount involved above seven million Ghana Cedis.
The PPA subsequently launched an investigation into the purchase of the vehicles.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the PPA has found that there were 'infractions' in the methods used by the Audit Service in purchasing the vehicles.
According to the PPA' report, there is no properly established Entity Tender Committee at the Audit Service, as the committee was not set up in accordance with Schedule 1B of Act 663 which establishes the Service.
The PPA report also held that all procurements approved by the Audit Service Entity Committee are declared 'null and void,' as the composition of the committee did not meet the requirements.
Interestingly, the PPA's investigations also revealed that in respect of the vehicles purchased by the Audit Service, the contract was awarded and the vehicles delivered before the Audit Service wrote to the Central Tender Review Committee for concurrent approval contrary to Section 20 (4) of Act 663 as amended.
Although the purchase of the vehicles was fraught with several infractions, the PPA Board directed that the supplier of the vehicles be paid in order to avert financial loss to the state.
“The Board further directed that because the state had obtained services and in order to avert financial loss to the state through judgment debt, instant steps should be taken by the Ghana Audit Service to pay the supplier after verifying the outstanding debt,” the report said.
The board also deplored the conduct of the Audit Service, which breached the PPA law and recommended that the report be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for appropriate action to be taken.
Source: Daily Guide