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03.04.2006 General News

GETFund versus MOE ruling on April 24

By GNA

Accra, April 3, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court would on April 24 give ruling on whether or not to expunge the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) name in a suit filed by Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) against the Ministry of Education and Sports and two others (MOES) over the 27.9 million dollars contract allegedly awarded to Macmillan Education Limited.

The two are Public Procurement Board (PPB) and Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund).

When the Court resumed sitting on Monday, Mr Amandu Tanko, counsel for GETfund prayed the court to delete GETFund's name in the suit since it only provided funds to MOES.

According to Mr Tanko, a look at the affidavit in support of application filed by GPA was only asking the Court to restrain it from providing funds to the Ministry.

He said under the common law, relieves of injunction could not stand alone adding there must be a pre-existing course for which a relief was being sought.

"It shall not be necessary to be joined nominally in the suit which the GETfund is answerable to the said action."

Mr Tanko indicated to the court that Act 581 sets out the objective of the GETfund and that the Fund's duty was to release funds whenever tending bidding process was done.

Mr Jacob Acquah Sampson, counsel representing GPA, opposed the application saying the GETFund was a statutory trust, which was formed in pursuant of Act 581.

According to Mr Sampson GETFund administered funds as soon as Parliament approved its funds stressing that the 28 million dollars was in the custody of the Fund, hence it was necessary to join them in the suit.

The GPA is seeking an injunction from the Court to restrain the Ministry, the PPB and the GETfund from proceeding with the 27.9 million contracts supposedly awarded to MacMillian Education Limited. The Association is further seeking a declaration that the decisions by MOES to engage in single source procurement for the procurement of books for schools from MacMillian was factually and legally unwarranted since it violated the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2003.

The Association stated that the MOES entered into a contract with Macmillan Education Limited on July 2005 to supply books because the Company's prices were far lower than what had been quoted by other publishers.

It said the MOES attention was drawn to the need for it to secure approval from the PPB for purposes of single source procurement. It further stated that Macmillan Education Limited wrote to acknowledge receipt of the letter abrogating the contract and urged the Ministry to take steps to resolve the issue. The Defendants, however, stated that the application for single source procurement met the policy consideration requirement under the Law.

They contended that they had not violated any law and challenged GPA to prove otherwise. 3 April 06

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