Breaches, failure to pay compensations cost Ghana GH¢1.89bn in judgment debts since 2000 - Report

Sat, 3 Jul 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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• Ghana has been paying judgment debts for decades

• A report has said that they have been due to breaches in contracts and failure to pay compensation promptly

• It added that Ghana has paid a total of GH¢1.89 billion since 2000 till 2019

In the last 20 years, Ghana has accumulated a total of GH¢1.89 billion alone on judgment debts, a Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) report has stated.

The report, which shows the total amount the country has had to pay off in judgment debts since the year 2000 till 2019, noted that the above figure is equivalent to 135 percent of new multilateral loans contracted by the government in 2019, reports citinewsroom.com.

Giving reasons for how and why the country has had to pay so much for judgment debts, the report stated that the debts ranged from breaches in contracts to the failure on governments’ part to pay compensations promptly in its compulsory land acquisitions, as well as statutory breaches committed by public officials in the line of duty.

The report continued that 73 percent of the total judgment debt payments were because of contractual breaches, while portions of the rest covered judgement debts accumulated due to failure to promptly pay compensations.

In essence, judgement debt due to failure to promptly pay compensations and statutory breaches accounted for 25 percent and 1.6 percent in that order, with the report adding that the largest amount of judgement debt payments made in a year was in 2010: GH¢356.6 million in total.

The report stated in part that, “Most judgement debts occur due to negligence, blatant disregard for public procurement laws, illegal abrogation of contracts, corrupt activities by public officials in their line of duty, all of which have resulted in the payment of huge sums from the public coffers.”

Also, further notes from the CSJ report, with reference to the Auditor-General’s reports from 2013 to 2019, that “staggering amounts of judgement debts awarded against the State remain outstanding.”

The report also added that “For example, in 2017 alone, the amount outstanding as shown in the Auditor-General’s report was GH¢411.6 million.”

On the theme, ‘A 20-year review of judgement debt payments in Ghana: Impact, Causes and Remedies,’ this report was launched during a virtual forum on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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