The Minority Caucus in Parliament has called on Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, to explain why he approved a GHC10 million loan from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) for McDan Shipping without the approval of a board.
Addressing a press conference at the Parliament House in Accra on Tuesday, the Minority said the contract was given to McDan Shipping Company Limited without the approval of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), and did not pass through the Central Tender Review Committee.
It accused Mr Ofori Atta of breaching the Procurement Act, saying the contract was awarded on June 9, 2017, but the Review Committee, which was to approve it, was constituted on August 1, 2017.
The facility was for McDan to undertake its business operations and, in particular, to execute a supply contract awarded by the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, said the Minority would not recognise any expenditure in respect of a state institution for which a board had not been constituted.
While questioning the delay in the appointment of a board to the Bank, the Minority said there were serious questions as to whether the Government demonstrated respect to the national procurement processes if the contract was awarded using the sole-sourcing process.
“There is a breach of the procurement process …..it is clear that this government is not respecting procurement laws,” Mr Iddrisu said.
“The law requires the approval by the Public Procurement Authority, where is the board of the Public Procurement Authority, we are not aware that it has been constituted,” Minority Leader queried.
Mr Iddrisu questioned the sincerity of the Government’s declaration of zero tolerance for sole-sourcing, adding that whether the contract was sole-sourced or through competitive tender, the Government still flouted the laws by its conduct.
“The Minister usurped the authority and functions of the Bank and its Board of Directors, which has curiously not been constituted so we are concerned. So where are the boards of directors of the major financial institutions of our country?” he asked.
“Non-performing loans is what affected Capital Bank and UT Bank… we don’t want what befell UT and Capital to befall the ADB,” he added.
The NDC Caucus appealed to the media “to probe further whether this contract was awarded through an open competitive tender process to guarantee and ensure value for money.”