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$125,000 Paid to RICS Consult Questionable — Asiamah
 
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20-Sep-2017  
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Mr Isaac Asiamah (middle) answering questions at the PAC
 
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An amount of $125,000 paid to RICS Consult in 2015 to prepare a bid document for the hosting of the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament could not be accounted for, the 2015 Auditor General's Report has disclosed.

It said the $125,000 withdrawn from the World Cup account meant for the 11-member committee constituted to assist the bidding process was rather paid to RICS Consult without any authorisation from the Ministry of Finance.

It indicated that RICS Consult, which belonged to Mr Rex Dankwa, Secretary to the 11-member committee could not produce adequate receipts to support its expenses.

“In the course of our review, we did not sight any formal approval from the Ministry of Finance for the utilisation of the $125,000 accountable imprest.”

"We also noted that the receipts totalling $125,000 submitted by RICS Consult were not supported by the necessary expenditure details to substantiate the amount spent," it said.

The report, therefore, recommended that Mr Dankwa, the recipient of the amount, should be held liable for the refund of the money.

Questionable $525,000 contract sum

The report indicated that the Ministry of Youth and Sports could not provide the auditors with contract documents awarding the consulting services to RICS Consult.

However, the report revealed that aside from the $125,000 paid to RICS Consult, the sports ministry went ahead to pay the company $68,736 out of a total contract sum of $525,000, leaving an outstanding balance of $456,263.

It recommended investigations and steps to ensure that the $68,736 was accounted for.

Answering questions relating to the contract at yesterday's sitting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Mr Dankwa said he could not produce all the receipts covering the use of the $125,000 because he had outsourced some of the components of the contract.

He said he could not go behind the sub-contractors to take receipts from the companies that they had dealt with.

Mr Dankwa insisted that RICS Consult had a contract with the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the preparation of the bid document.

He said although there was no signed contract document between the ministry and RICS Consult, there were correspondences between the ministry and the National Procurement Authority on the decision to award the contract to RICS Consult.

Mr Dankwa said he had followed up with the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mahama Ayariga, to sign the contract but the minister was reshuffled before he could sign the contract.

Ghana did not win the bid to host the 2017 AFCON.

Strong challenge

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Frank Quist, and the Chief Accountant of the ministry, Mr Emmanuel Oteng, told the PAC that RICS Consult did not have any written contract with the ministry amounting to $525,000.

They said RICS Consult prepared the bid document, which was presented to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), but Ghana did not win the bid.

They said Mr Ayariga did not capture the said contract in his handover notes to his successor, while they too had not seen any contract document to that effect.

Mr Oteng said the bid process ended around September 2015, but the minister stayed till April 2016.

He, therefore, wondered why Mr Dankwa was unable to get the then Minister, Mr Ayariga, to sign the document.

Minister

Contributing, the sitting Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Isaac Asiamah, said as soon as he resumed office, the request for the $525,000 contract sum came before him and he minuted to auditors for checks.

He said he had not seen any contract document between the ministry and RICS Consult.

Mr Asiamah said even the initial $125,000 given to RICS Consult was "questionable" and in excess of the work executed, according to a performance audit he commissioned.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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