General News of Mon, 10 Oct 201614
BoG to stop purchase of gold watches
The Bank of Ghana is set to stop the purchase of gold watches meant to be given out as part of end of service benefit to retiring staff of the institution.
This is what Joy Business has picked up from officials of the Bank of Ghana in Washington DC for the Annual IMF/World Bank meetings.
Sources say, the decision will be based on a review of the whole process being considered for purchasing the watches.
“We work for the public and if they have strong opposition to something that we are doing, it should be prudent to review the process or stop it”, a senior official of the Bank in Washington DC told Joy Business.
Joy Business is learning that the plan to purchase the watches is yet to reach top management and the board of the central bank for consideration. Joy Business gathers the purchase will not be approved.
Joy Business' source add that that “top management including the governors, have not even seen the final request from the procurement department, hence, the tender evaluation panel is yet to review anything on it”.
The highly placed source adds that, it is therefore unfortunate that people are calling for a probe when no decision has been taken on the decision to purchase the gold watches.
"The procurement people decided to go for sole sourcing, rather than selective tendering, which is usually, the case. I know that some people have drawn daggers already, but they could be a little patient for us to at least review and take a decision as management,” the source said.
Joy Business understands that the central bank wants to review the process to ensure the issues are not played out wrongly in the public again.
The source reveals that there is a rigorous processes that such procurements at the central bank go through, noting that when there are questions about any procurement, it is shot down.
Joy Business also understands that the practice of getting the gold watch end of service package for retiring staff through sole sourcing has persisted for many years.
However, in 2010, then Governor of the central bank, now Vice President, Kwasi Amissah-Arthur directed that purchase should be open for biding. But Joy Business' source said the company that won the bid that year unfortunately supplied very poor goods, forcing top management to go back to sole sourcing.
"Not that someone wanted to make money illegally,” the source said.
The Bank of Ghana has come under some criticism from sections of the public over decision to purchase 72 pieces gold watches at about half a million dollars for deserving members of staff who had served with the Bank for 30 years or more and are due to retire compulsorily from the service of the Bank in the years 2016 and 2017.