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8 Billion Maputo Scandal

Sat, 30 Jun 2012 Source: FRONT PAGE Newspaper

--GH¢808,955.00 and US$2.2 Million for 232 Contingent

Documents intercepted by the Front Page newspaper suggests financial impropriety and malfeasance in the run-up to Ghana's participation in the All African Games hosted in Maputo the capital town of Mozambique in 2011.

In the said documents, the National Sports Council (NSC) led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Worlanyo Agra presented a total budget of GH¢808,955.00 and US$2.2million for 232 contingents.

According to the committee's report in possession of the Front Page newspaper, the absence of a viable Ghana Olympics Committee (GOC) for almost two and half years was not mainly responsible for the problems encountered by “Team Ghana” in preparing for that All Africa Games.

The Chief Executive of the National Sports Council, according to the report, single-handedly awarded Royal Derby Tours a contract worth US$620,000, to lift over 200 athletes and officials to Maputo for the All Africa Games. He also awarded Kwashie Tailors a contract worth GH¢66,000.00 to sew suits for 205 athletes and officials.

Furthermore, he awarded Trafix Catering Service a contract to feed an undisclosed number of athletes and officials for an undisclosed number of days at an undisclosed unit price. In the end, the contractor presented an invoice for GH¢92,265.88 which was paid instantly without anybody in authority asking any questions.

Again, Romku Ventures was contracted to provide hostel accommodation for camping at the cost of GH¢62,850.00, which exceeded the number of athletes and officials specified in the contract letter.

These moves by the Chief Executive were, clearly, flagrant violation of the Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663). In most of these cases, the very least, the effort could have been for made to request estimates from three companies and then the best one picked to give Ghana the best value for money. In the particular case of the air tickets, the fare almost doubled because the contractor selected was unable to pre-purchase the tickets at the first price they were quoted. The irony is that while the fare was almost-doubling, it also turned out that Team Ghana did not get confirmed seats, hence the mass confusion at airports in Ghana, South Africa and Maputo, on all legs of the journey. An earlier purchase would have save Ghana considerable amount of money and also yielded confirmed seats to enable Team Ghana make the trip to Maputo and back in a more dignified manner.

Indeed, the Committee believes that the multiplicity of problems experienced by Team Ghana at the Games could have been avoided with better planning, greater concern about the welfare of the youth of Ghana who were being sent to Maputo to represent the nation, more competent management of the processes, greater concern about deriving value for money in the procurement processes, and a more functional organization.

As things unfolded the Committee found it difficult to eliminate the theory that suggests that the leadership of the Sports Council prefers a more chaotic organization that allowed for expenditures.

The report revealed that although the Board of the National Sport Council was actively involved in the planning of the Unity Games, even to the extent of drawing up contract specifications, the same Board was completely sidelined in the organization of the All Africa Games. The report states, in a part, that power was so highly centralized in the hands of a few individuals in the NSC leadership, it was virtually impossible to check the abuses of the procurement rules. NO CONTRACT SPECIFICATION AND DOCUMENTS The Committee discovered that that there was no contract specification, as well as contract documents for any of the contracts awarded by the National Sports Council. Some of the documents presented to the Committee were either after-thoughts or outright fabrications. This means that there was no standard or quality of service, not even minimum requirements like unit price, etc. The Committee believes the absence of any contract specification only partly explains the sub-standard nature and poor quality service delivered by almost all the contractors. NO CONTRACT SUPERVISION The Committee was shocked to discover that having awarded the contracts, no one in the establishment of the National Sports Council carried out the basic task of monitoring and supervision to ensure that the contracts were delivered according to acceptable standards.

CORRUPTION IN THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS

The Committee came to the conclusion that the procurement of goods and services was very inappropriate, and that the system needs to undergo a thorough shake up.

ENTITY TENDER COMMITTEE

The Committee discovered that the Entity Committee, which is an internal body with only two external representatives, turns out to be operationally an appendage of the leadership of the National Sports Council. The membership of the Entity Committee is dominated by people in the management of the NSC and for that matter it made them incapable of independent evaluation and assessment. The Committee also discovered that very often the Entity Committee lacked the expertise and competence required to make technical decisions.

The Committee added that Mr. Silas Attipoh did not attend the Entity Committee meeting on 12th October 2011, but yet he was paid a sitting allowance he was not entitled to.

STRUCTURES UNDERMINED

The Committee also discovered that that the entire organizational structure of the National Sports Council was undermined in the way its administrative processes were executed and its administrative rules flouted. The Chief Executive Officer, in almost all the contractual and financial transactions, made decisions and expected his subordinates to carry out his instructions without putting these instructions in writing in the form of memos, as is the standard practice in the public service. The Committee finds that certain departments of the National Sports Council which should have been involved in the planning and organization of the All African Games were left out entirely. For example, the Protocol Officer, Mr. Patrick Agordzor, was totally excluded from the organization of the Games, although normally he would be the one going to the airport, dealing with the embassies, travel and tour companies, etc.

Mr. Elletey, the General Secretary for Badminton and Disabled Sports was put in charge of travel operations, an area which is definitely not his area of expertise. A typical case of square pegs in round holes. The Committee could only surmise that the only probable reason why the leadership of any organization would tolerate such a situation regards personal loyalty, because the alternative explanation would be that it created the opportunity to enhance personal profiteering.

The Committee finds Mr. Ellertey to be an untruthful person, and too unreliable to be retained by the National Sports Council. He lied to the Committee several times in order to protect his bosses, and anytime he was found out he stopped answering questions from the Committee. In fact the last time he appeared before the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee asked him to help the Committee calculate the cost of feeding athletes and officials in camp based on Table 1. Mr. Ellertey flatly refused to undertake the assignment and has to date not deemed it imperative to carry out the task. Stay tune.

Source: FRONT PAGE Newspaper

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