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General News of Wednesday, 18 September 2019


$1m MoF payment: Kroll worked; A-G got it wrong – Nkrumah

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information play videoKojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information

The government is challenging a recent claim by the Auditor-General in its 2018 report that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) paid US$1m to a private organisation, Kroll Associates, for no work done.

The ministry acquired the services of Kroll Associates in 2017 to recover assets from identified wrongdoers, investigate allegations of wrongdoing, provide evidence for assets recoveries, build capacity for the transfer of skills, give advice on preventative techniques and structures to detect and forestall future corruption.

However, in its annual report on Public Accounts of Ghana (PAG) as of 31 December 2018 on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Auditor-General stated: “During our review of the contract with Kroll Associates, we noted that though there was no evidence of work done, the ministry, in 2018, paid an amount of US$1 million (equivalent of GH¢4,890,000) to the company”.

The report added that there were inconsistencies in some of the documentation. It said, for instance, “Though the contract was signed in September 2017, some of the invoices attached to the payment vouchers predated the award of the contract”.

The A-G’s report stated that in view of the non-performance of Kroll Associates in executing the contract, the agreement should be “abrogated and any money paid to the company recovered immediately”.

However, addressing the press in Accra on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that the Finance Minister was gathering exact and further details of the actual work done by the firm when the A-G decided to publish the report and make public pronouncements on the matter, instead of exhausting the constitutional process of writing to Parliament to provoke further explanation from the Finance Minister.

“The findings to the effect, therefore, that there is no contractual relation for this transaction or that there are some irregularities in documentation or that no work was done or there was no evidence of work done are wrong; those findings are wrong,” Mr Nkrumah stated.

According to him, under normal circumstances, the MoF would have waited to appear before Parliament to provide explanation and submit evidence to refute the A-G’s assertion.

However, the MoF issued the public explanation via the Ministry of Information because the A-G had already discussed the matter in public.

Mr Nkrumah emphasised that: “The transaction is backed by a well-chronicled agreement”, adding that: “There is evidence of work done and there are no irregularities in documentation”.