Judges are not to be blamed for buying vehicles at low prices - Avedzi

Ghana Judges Swear.png File photo

Mon, 5 Sep 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

James Klutse Avedzi, NDC MP Ketu North and Chairman, Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, PAC, has reacted to the 2021 Auditor-General's report where some judges were named for buying vehicles auctioned to them at low prices.

According to him, the judges who bought cannot be blamed for that because that is the price given by the State Transport Company.

"It depends on the usage of that vehicle; before you buy that vehicle, the vehicle will be taken to the State Transport Company for evaluation. State Transport will value the vehicle and then give a base price – below which the car should not be sold. So, if the State Transport Company gives a base price which is low, the officer who bought cannot be blamed for that because that is the price given by the State Transport Company," James Klutse Avedzi explained in a Joy News interview.

When prompted that the Auditor-General in the 2021 audit report stated that there was no approval from the Ministry of Finance for the vehicles to be bought, the NDC MP said:

"That is where we have an issue. Officers who use salon cars, going on retirement are offered a vehicle, the price of which they are offered is determined by the State Transport Company, if these procedures were not followed then we have an issue with what happened with the Judiciary and that is why the Auditor-General reported on it."

Avedzi in the interview disagreed with claims that the judges are unfairly being criticized by the general public.

He is of the view that, the vehicle in question “is being offered to you as an individual, it is your duty to ensure that the officer acting on your behalf follows the procedure because it is coming to you as a personal property; you are buying it.

"The Judicial Service is not buying the vehicle for them and dashing it to them, it is you; you are being offered so, you have to ensure that the State Transport Company do the valuation then you pay the money; the money will be paid to the Judicial Service, then the Judicial Service then pay the money to the government coffers."

The regulation provides that the Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall obtain the prior written approval of the Minister for the transfer, exchange, sale, donation, contribution-in-kind, trust and any other disposal of any vehicles of the covered entity.

Regulation 158 also states that any such disposal, lease and other action referred to in Sub-regulation 1 that is made without the written approval of the Minister, is void.

However, the Auditor-General's report stated that some judges, including recently retired Supreme Court judges, Yaw Appau and Julius Ansah have acquired state-owned vehicles contrary to the provisions of this law.

The Auditor-General, therefore, wants the vehicles recovered.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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