Finance Ministry Fights A-G Report On $1m Payment For No Work Done
The Ministry of Finance is expected to serve notice on the Auditor General, to challenge an audit finding to the effect that an amount of $1 million was paid to a debt recovery firm Kroll Associates.
The A-G had indicated that the payment was effected without evidence of work.
On page 27 of the A-G’s report issued in June 2019, the A-G stated that Kroll Associates was paid for no work done.
“During our review of the contract of Kroll Associates, we noted that though there was no evidence of work done, the Ministry of Finance in 2018 paid an amount of US$1 million (equivalent of GH¢ 4,890,000) to the company,” according to the A-G.
The A-G noted that payment had been made several months to Kroll before an official contract was signed in September 2017.
But the Ministry of Finance, according to the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, reported that it will have to get details from the office of the Senior Minister which was the appropriate office that executed the transaction.
However, he said, prior to furnishing the Audit team with a report, the Audit was completed and a report published to the effect that there was no evidence of work for the payment of the $1 million.
Auditor General is further reported to have gone public and announced this finding to the mass media as though it is a concluded non-negotiable fact, he said.
“The Constitutional practice is that the report is submitted to Parliament and affected MDAs invited to respond.”
The MOF believes that at least if this constitutional path was followed, it would have had the opportunity to respond at the next legally appropriate forum and explain as follows: the transaction is properly backed by an agreement that took effect on 13th February, 2017 pursuant to a letter of intent of 2nd, February signed by the Government of Ghana.
This letter of intent was further included in an agreement dated 29th, September 2019, he explained.
“Additionally, the office of the Senior Minister responded to the MOF query to the effect that since September,2017, Kroll has been working with the GOG to undertake extensive and thorough investigations of allegations of wrong doing, and providing evidence of assets recoveries for possible prosecution.”
The finding to the effect that there is no contract or that there is irregularity in documentation that no work has been done is wrong,
He said “ordinarily, MOF would have wanted to go to parliament and explain itself. However, since Auditor General has gone public, MOF is obliged to also explain to the public even before parliament to cure that wrong impression.”
“We encourage all to follow due process. The transaction is backed by a well-chronicled agreement. There is evidence of work done. There are no irregularities in documentation.”
“The MOF will address all these properly with the necessary documents.”