By Frank Amponsah
A forensic Audit undertaken by Cabinet Committee Responsible for the coordination of investigations under the past NDC government has made damning revelations of serious loot of state coffers by officers and individuals who were manning certain agencies.
The Forensic Audit report signed by the Secretary to the Committee, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman, revealed massive breach of the Public Procurement Acts, 2003 and 2016 which led to the inflation of contract sums and non-performance of such contracts.
The document in possession of this paper has also given clear cases of breaches of the provisions of the Financial Administration Regulations, 2014.
Per details of the Forensic Audits, there have been cash disbursements without authorisation whilst, there were cases of deposits of public funds into personal accounts.
The offenders, according to the report failed to account for the amounts they managed to grab including travelling allowances.
It emerged that 18 forensic audits were awarded and reports duly submitted to the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) and the committee.
There have been serious embezzlements at, and dissipation of the accounts of the Ghana National Gas Company, Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Ghana Free Zones Board, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Technology University College, Tesano-Accra.
The Ghana National Gas Company which was then chaired by Dr Kwesi Botchwey, was engaged in some procurement irregularities that cost the company a whooping US$61,058,366.76.
According to the report, the company had acquired from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), helicopters which have never been used for the purpose of its purchase thereby causing financial loss of US$54,800.00, likewise, equipment for the helicopters were not delivered even though it was part of the contract price.
It also emerged that, the Abnitio training cost of US$300,000.00 was not fully utilised for its intended purpose.
Also, at the Ghana National Gas Company, there were procurement irregularities as far as contracts entered into with Memphis Metropolitan Limited, and Kingspok Company Limited to the tunes of GHC34,451,650.22 and GSC42,351,110.17 respectively, are concerned.
The report also indicated that contract Mr. Kassim Baluri Bukari entered into a contract with Worrall Lees and Associates, Technip UK Ltd and another payment made to Tullow Ghana Limited to the tune of US$4,108,378.60, on behalf of Ghana National Gas Company, all failed to meet procurement guidelines.
In another development, the Ghana National Gas Company also entered into a contract with Freda Maame Bartels Mensa of Adeabs Catering Services at a cost of GHC6,688,986.56 without due procurement procedures.
At the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), officials including former the President of GTUC, Prof. Osei Darkwa, Dr Baffour Awuah-Former Vice President have, according to the report, misappropriated huge amounts of monies and have failed to account for those monies.
According to the report, Prof. Osei Darkwa, alone misappropriated amounts of GHC1,503, 720.00, whilst Dr Baffour Awuah was unable to account for the GHC1263,141.00 he embezzled.
Also, Learning Nuggets Company Limited, a company incorporated by Prof. Osei Darkwa and Diana Dwamena, Chief Executive Officer managed to grab GHC150,896.00, US$80,015.00 GB£1,011,500.00 but failed to account.
The then Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Mrs. Sedina Tamakloe Attionu also misappropriated GHC3,193,592.00 whilst Mr. Kwadwo Tsum Boafo of the Ghana Free Zones Board managed to grab GH3,919,622.00 (US$1,622,821.00) respectively without rendering accounts.
The then managers of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST), have also been fingered in the report for haven engaged themselves in some financial irregularities which caused heavy financial loss to the company and to the State in general.
According to the report, Former Managing Director of BOST, Mr. Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko embezzled an amount of GHC109,498,565.00, whilst transferring GHC83,567,206.00 to the then Chief of Staff.
In the same vein, the former General Manager in charge of Finance at BOST, Mr. George Abora also embezzled GHC86,418,225.00 and transferred yet another whopping amount of GHC40,500.00 to the former Chief of Staff.
Mr. George Abora also used his company GKA Consultancy Services to dupe BOST of GHC2,800.000.00.
Ato Wilson, Project Manager of BOST is also to account for GHC9,572.34 whilst Mr. Kakra Essamuah, former Board Chairman of BOST also grabbing GHC1,941,527.00.
Several Procurement irregularities were discovered under BOST.
The Forensic Audit also intensively expressed the fact that the Dr George Ben-Crentsil, former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), embezzled GHC1,655,019.00 and made other kickback payments to the tune of US$1,200,000.00, all in breach of the Procurement Act.
At GSA, it also emerged that Mr. Delali Sabblah who was Head of the Procurement Unit of the Ghana Standards also grabbed GHC9,056,266.00 as he flouted the procurement processes in the award of certain contracts.
The latest revelation is however a clear indication of what really transpired under the previous government as far as procurement is concerned.
Meanwhile, two out of the 18 forensic audits have been suspended, and the Committee promised to soon begin work and provide details.