General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

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Fraud at Korle-Bu, As Purchases Are Inflated

The procurement of a number of materials by the Central Stores and Supplies Department of the nation?s premier Medicare centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has raised a lot of questions marks about how the insufficient resources of the hospital are being handled.

The ?Ghanaian Chronicle?s? investigations in the procurement of flow meters and other materials for the hospital could be described as a fraud.

Early last year the central stores (procurement unit), headed by Boa Amposem, and in line with the demand by the hospital purchased 100 units of flow meters at a unit cost of 2.7m cedis, which brought the total procurement to 270m cedis instead of 50m cedis for the 100 units.

During the same period when the procurement unit claimed it purchased one unit of flow meter for 2.7m the going price of the unit of the item at the open market was 500,000 cedis and the whole 100 units of the flow should have cost the hospital 50m cedis, instead of 270m cedis. This brought the difference on the purchase of the flow meters alone to 220m cedis.

Reacting to the concerns of the public, the chief executive of Korle-Bu, Prof Frimpong Boateng, told ?Chronicle? that he heard the allegation into the procurement of flow meters and other materials at astronomical prices when he took over as the Chief Executive of the Hospital.

?I have also heard the allegations about the procurements of the items you are asking me about but nobody has formally noticed me. I have not laid hold on any documents about those procurements?, he said.

Prof Boateng said the procurement procedure of the hospital has not been the best, even though there was a tender board in place to supervise the mode of procurement, the system can still be abused. He said he was shuffling the procurement committee to avoid re-occurrence of the past mistakes and abuse of the procurement.

When ?Chronicle? contacted Boa Amposem, head of the supplies department who is at the centre of the storm, he initially refused to comments on the issue, saying in July last year, ?Chronicle? published a story on an internal auditors? report which implicated him on a number of procurements.

In the said auditors? report, adverse findings were made against him (Boa Amposem) over how he handled the procurements of materials for the hospital.

Though he was yet to challenge the report, he attacked the ?Chronicle? for publishing it. He denied ever purchasing white polyester materials at inflated prices. He said he was not responsible for the procurement of those items; ?Chronicle? referred and asked a report to see the chairman of the procurement committee who is the Chief Executive of the hospital.

But documents sighted by the ?Chronicle? revealed that the purchase of the polyester materials was endorsed by Boa Amposem on 7 March 2002. Another scandal that emerged at the procurement units was the purchase of 4,200 yards of white polyester material at a unit cost of 35,000 cedis instead of 7,000 per yard at the open market.

In all the 4,200 yards of polyester cost the hospital a whopping sum of 147m cedis instead of 29m cedis.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

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