Home » “KPMG’s Conflict of Interest in GRA-SML Audit Raises Concerns,” Says ACEP Director Ben Boakye

“KPMG’s Conflict of Interest in GRA-SML Audit Raises Concerns,” Says ACEP Director Ben Boakye

Auditing Firm KPMG Under Scrutiny Over GRA-SML Contract Audit

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
KPMG GRA-SML Audit Conflict

Ben Boakye, the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has expressed concerns over the auditing firm KPMG’s role in the investigation of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML-Ghana) contract. He highlighted that KPMG should have declared a conflict of interest, considering their existing relationship with GRA.

This situation arose following a directive from President Akufo-Addo, who tasked KPMG with scrutinizing the revenue assurance contract between GRA and SML-Ghana. This move came after The Fourth Estate’s investigation revealed that SML had been awarded contracts entitling the company to over $100 million annually, despite failing to deliver on its claims of addressing under-reporting, diversion, and dilution.

Boakye pointed out that KPMG’s prior working relationship with GRA warranted a public acknowledgment of this potential conflict. He expressed disappointment in KPMG’s lack of communication regarding how they would address this issue, fearing it could undermine public trust in their report.

He stated, “It’s crucial that KPMG acknowledge the conflict and show how they intend to handle it, to assure the public of their impartiality.”

Despite these concerns, Boakye noted that KPMG should be given the benefit of the doubt as they proceed with their report. “We’re prepared to see their final report, but the unresolved conflict of interest and the lack of public acknowledgment remain worrying,” he added.

The background of this audit traces back to January 2, 2024, when President Akufo-Addo ordered an examination of the contract between GRA and SML. This decision followed The Fourth Estate’s investigation, which exposed SML’s inability to fulfill its service claims and its subsequent retraction of these claims from its website.

Furthermore, Christian Tetteh Sottie, the Managing Director of SML, conceded that the company’s assertion of saving Ghana GHS3 billion was unfounded.

The President has instructed GRA and the Ministry of Finance to support KPMG with the necessary documents and has also directed the suspension of the contract’s execution, including any impending payments, pending the audit report.

This development in Ghana’s financial governance highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in governmental contracts and the critical role of independent auditing in maintaining public trust. As KPMG proceeds with the audit, the outcome will not only impact the involved parties but also set a precedent for how conflicts of interest are managed in high-profile financial investigations.

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