General News Thu, 29 Jul 2010

Ex-Ministers and Minority Leader to Refund $94,000

Five ex-ministers of former President Kufuor's NPP administration and the current NPP Minority leader in Parliament, Mr. Kyei-Bonsu have been ordered by President Mills's government to return $94,000 as overpayment for the exgratia(end of service) awards.

This directive drew an angry response from Kyei-Bonsu when contacted by the Daily Graphic.

He dismissed President Mill's order as a "childish prank meant to cause disaffection among NPP members." Kyei-Bonsu expressed surprise that the affected persons were not notified of this directive but wondered about the basis of the computation of the ex-gratia rewards

"We will react appropriately when the details are made available to us," Mr. Kyei Bonsu added.

Kyei-Bonsu also dismissed the assertion that the ex-ministers were overpaid. The Minority leader insisted that each Member of Parliament was paid the same amount of gratuity and wondered "how only five of us could have been overpaid."

"The purpose of this prank is obvious. But this cannot intimidate us," he added. This ex-gratia furore came about as a result of a directive given by President Mills' Office to to the Auditor-General's Office to investigate the possibility of overpayment of ex-gratia gratuities to Parliamentarians.

The Auditor-General's office was also to verify whether it was possible to reconcile these payments. The report revealed that the five ex-ministers names showed up twice on the list sent by Parliamentarians, causing them to be receive gross over-payments for their ex-gratia gratuities.

On March 29th Presiddent Mills asked the Auditor-General's Office to conduct an audit verification on the payment of emoluments to Members of PArliament and advise on the possibiliy of shortfalls of payments by the Office of the President. The President also directed the Auditor-General to investigate on the possibility of reconciling those payments.

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