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PAC Questions COCOBOD And Cocoa Marketing Company For Financial Impropriety   
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Kweku Agyeman-Manu
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The Public Accounts Committee, PAC, has raised concern about the level of financial impropriety at COCOBOD and the Cocoa Marketing Company, CMC as captured in the Auditor General’s report of 2010 and 2011.

The Auditor General’s report indicated that an amount of GH˘ 17.7 million, being additional expenses incurred by COCOBOD as assistance to CMC and entered in the books could not be substantiated.

It said there was no confirmation from COCOBOD and therefore correctness of the amount was therefore in doubt.

The Auditor General recommended that the amount involved should be substantiated with the relevant documents.

These revelations came up as the PAC granted the COCOBOD and CMC audience at its ongoing sitting.

The Auditor General’s report of 2010 and 2011 on the COCOBOD and the Cocoa Marketing Company, CMC, noted that COCOBOD owns CMC UK Limited.

It however came up according to the report that CMC Ghana’s share in the UK subsidiary does not exist.

The Director of Finance of COCOBOD, William Mensah told the PAC that checks had been done in the UK and the board had recently gotten documents covering that transaction, and so will furnish the auditors with the current status of CMC UK Limited.

The Chairman of the PAC, Kweku Agyeman-Manu did not mince words in expressing the several question marks on the account books.

Of particular concern to the members on the Committee were the spraying of cocoa farms, access to cocoa seedlings, legitimacy of beneficiaries of the cocoa scholarship and the development of the Shea butter industry.

The Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD Dr Yaw Adu- Ampomah said due to financial constraints, chemicals meant for spraying of cocoa might not reach every farm.

He therefore encouraged farmers to form cooperative groups to benefit from the spraying exercise since they deal with trained gangs.

He also said an outstation of the cocoa research institute at Bole has been developing improved Shea nut plants so as to boost Shea cultivation.

Due to the plethora of questions on their accounts, the PAC has requested that a meeting be held with the two institutions at a later date to take a further look into their financial books.
Source: GBC

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