Home » Ghana’s Opposition Party Demands Termination of ‘Illegal Contracts’ with SML

Ghana’s Opposition Party Demands Termination of ‘Illegal Contracts’ with SML

NDC Raises Concerns About Sole Sourcing and Lack of Experience in SML Contracts

by Victor Adetimilehin

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana’s main opposition party, is demanding the immediate termination of all contracts between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML), a private company.

The NDC alleges that the contracts are illegal and that the government has paid SML more than GH¢1 billion under them. The party is also calling for the publication of a full report on the dealings between SML and the GRA, as well as the prosecution of all those involved in the award of the contracts.

The government has not yet commented on the NDC’s allegations.

Opposition Calls for Investigation into Allegedly Improper Procurement

The NDC held a press conference on April 29, 2024, to address the issue. The party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, alleged that the government awarded the contracts to SML through “sole sourcing,” a procurement method that is only supposed to be used in exceptional circumstances. Sole sourcing bypasses the usual competitive bidding process, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.

Gyamfi further alleged that SML lacked relevant experience. “It goes without saying,” he said, “that GRA’s requests for approval to engage SML through sole sourcing were refused by the PPA because the requests did not meet the mandatory requirements of section 40 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663).” The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) is the statutory body that oversees public procurement in Ghana.

According to the NDC, SML was incorporated only four months before the government awarded it the contracts. The company, they claim, was an “offshoot of a Timber company” with no prior experience in revenue assurance or transaction auditing, casting doubt on its qualifications for the contracts.

Moreover, the NDC is calling for a full investigation into the matter. Gyamfi said that the government’s actions had caused a “huge financial loss to the state.” He argued that if the procurement procedures had been followed correctly, the government could have obtained better value for money.

Government’s Silence Raises Concerns

The Ghanaian government has not yet responded to the NDC’s allegations. This lack of comment has fueled public speculation and raised concerns about transparency. The public is eager to hear the government’s side of the story and understand the rationale behind the awarding of the contracts to SML.

The NDC’s allegations are likely to damage the government’s reputation, particularly if they are perceived as credible by the public. The party is hoping that the allegations will lead to a public outcry and force the government to take action. This could include terminating the contracts with SML, publishing the KPMG report on the dealings between the company and the GRA, and potentially launching an investigation into the procurement process.

This is a developing story, and more information is expected to emerge in the coming days. The outcome of this situation could have significant repercussions for the Ghanaian government. If the NDC’s allegations are substantiated, it could lead to legal action, policy changes, and a loss of public trust in the government’s procurement practices.

However, citizens are watching closely to see how the government responds to these allegations and whether they will take steps to ensure transparency and accountability in public procurement going forward.

Source: Graphic Online 

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