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General News of Saturday, 21 December 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

MP criticises lack of tendering committee at Special Prosecutor office

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Dafeamekpor, has chided the board of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for what he deems its slow working pace.

Contributing to the review of the budget estimates for the Office of the Special Prosecutor on the floor of Parliament, the MP indicated that the lack of a tendering committee makes it difficult for the Special prosecutor to make purchases.

“There is not tender committee therefore he is unable, even though he has funds available, to even make purchases. These are some of the difficulties that the office of the special prosecutor is facing.”

Mr Dafeamekpor further called on the House to ensure the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu and his office are equipped with the necessary resources to operate in 2020.

Resource constraints meant only GHS28 million of the Special Prosecutor’s earmarked GHS 180 million in the 2019 budget had so far been utilised.

The office was said to have underutilised its budget because of mainly “crippling” accommodation challenges, according to documents from Special Prosecutor made privy to Parliament.

“The 2019 budget was prepared under the premise that the office was going to move out of its current location which is a converted three-bedroom residential facility…to its own office with 249 staff fully employed and operationalised. This has never been fulfilled.”

“The current office space is not only woefully inadequate for the present staff but does not permit any extra engagement of additional staff; a situation that has placed a lot of limitations on performance. As a result, budget releases could not be utilised as the requisite minima staff could not be employed.”

The Special Prosecutor himself, Martin Amidu, has had cause to complain about his office not being well-resourced enough to function.

The accommodation concerns appear close to being addressed as the office is in line to be allocated the yet-to-be commissioned 10-storey complex for the Ghana Education Trust Fund.

The Special Prosecutor has previously described his office current space at Labone as limited.