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General News of Thursday, 24 November 2016


‘Institutional collusion’ facilitated Smarttys scandal – Casely-Hayford

A founding member of pressure group, OccupyGroup, says the Smarttys bus branding scandal that broke early this year is a unique example of an institutional corruption.

Sydney Casely-Hayford says even though the money involved in the deal, when compared to other government deals is small, the revelations since scandal broke is telling of the extent of corruption in the John Mahama-led administration.

“Several institutions in the country were involved to make it happen. The Ministry of Finance was part of it, the Controller and Accountant General was part of it, the Bank of Ghana was part of it, the Ministry of Transport and the Metro Mass Transit Company were part of it, the Public Procurement Authority was part of it. They all purposely overlooked and deliberately bypassed the laid down laws and procedure,” he said.

He spoke current affairs programme PM Express on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, Wednesday.

The branding of 116 Metro Mass Transit buses with the photos of past Presidents and President Mahama at the cost of GH¢ 3.6 million caused public outrage and resulted in the resignation of the then Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor.

A committee set up by the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to look into the sole-sourced deal found that there was excess payment to the contractors, Smarttys.

The report, part of which was made public, recommended that Smarttys refunds about GH¢1.5 million which was an over-payment for the deal.

Speaking on PM Express, Mr Casely-Hayford said had the relevant state institutions performed their roles the scandal would have been avoided.
Meanwhile, OccupyGhana has challenged the Attorney General to prosecute all persons involved in the Smarttys scandal.

The group has urged the Attorney General, Marrietta Appiah-Oppong, to apply the law guiding government contracts known as AFRC Decree 58, 1979, where offenders face up to 10 years jail sentences if found guilty.

OccupyGhana has submitted a 20-page dossier to help the Attorney-General’s effort to prosecute persons involved in the deal.