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General News of Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Smarttys deal: Culprits should’ve been jailed by now – OccupyGhana

A member of pressure group, OccupyGhana, Ace Annan Ankomah, is accusing the Mahama-led administration of continuously violating the country’s procurement laws.

According to him, the practice goes contrary t0 government’s repeated pronouncements that it is fighting corruption.

Ace Annan Ankomah, a lawyer, argues that such flagrant abuses coupled with not well thought-through decisions of asking for refund from companies anytime they are found culpable, is detrimental to national growth.

His comments come on the back of moves by government to have Smarttys refund some 1.9 million Ghana cedis paid to them in excess for the re-branding of 116 Metro Mass Buses at a cost of Ghc3.6 million.

OccupyGhana has constantly criticized the decision and duly followed up with a questionnaire to the relevant bodies to answer. They have vowed to fo to court over the matter if the answers are unsatisfactory.

Ace Ankomah observed that “in the previous government, we passed the Procurement Act to regulate public procurement. What have we done? We have shown the world how we can pick loopholes in our own laws.”

“Why should a bus branding transaction be single sole-sourced? And then the Attorney General tells us that they were able to find three cheaper sources in Ghana, clear breach of the procurement laws which says people should be lined up to go to jail. And then we are faced with a tail lame refund, give the money back to us and go away. Let’s tell the chicken thieves to refund the chicken, maybe a head and a thigh the next day. We are making a joke of our laws and yet we say we are fighting corruption.”