Massive Raid On Taxpayer’s Money

An audit conducted by Ghana Audit Service into the award of contracts by the Banda District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region has revealed massive corruption, including inflation of contract figures on projects funded by the District Development Facility (DDF). In an Audit Service working paper sighted by The Chronicle, with reference number AO/BDA/DDF/2013/02 and dated 3rd April 2014, the auditors raised, among other things, the inflation of contract sums, non-competitiveness of the bidding process, and the non-completion of the projects, though the full contract sum had been paid. On the over-pricing of contract sums for the mechanization of boreholes, the auditors compared the unit price of GH8,998.13 awarded around the same time in one District Assembly, and the unit cost of GH10,234.35 at the Banda District Assembly. In response to this query, the management of the Assembly contended that the contract sum was normal, because that was the least bid the Assembly received after opening the tender box. When the auditors asked for the bills of quantities of the other bidders, the Assembly replied that after their unsuccessful bid, the other bidders collected their bid documents, and hence, the Assembly could not produce them. This, the auditors found untenable, since it was unusual in general contract management. Also, the auditors raised concern on health and safety issues regarding the non-completion of contract works, which the Assembly blatantly paid for. According to the audit report, the contractors failed to carry out Water Quality Tests for chemical and bacteriological analyses to ensure the safety of the water for the beneficiary communities. Further, the contractor failed to execute the fixing of pumps, painting of the overhead tanks, and concrete works amounting to GH2, 830. Although five boreholes were awarded, four of them have been mechanized, but all the five paid for. The auditors, in the conclusion, stated that the interest of the government, and, indeed, the people of Ghana, to get value for money was compromised, leading to higher pricing of the contract by management of the Assembly, and more seriously, the health and safety of the consumers could not be guaranteed, because of the gross disregard for the water quality test.