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General News of Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Source: peacefmonline.com

We'll probe all sole-sourcing contracts - Sir John

Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John

Former General Secretary of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, when voted into power in the coming elections, will set up an independent prosecutor to look into all sole-sourcing contracts.

According to him, every sole sourcing contract since 2010 and those under President Mahama’s administration will be looked into by an independent prosecutor who will not be under the control of the government.

Speaking on Oman Fm’s ‘Today’s Agenda’, Sir John, as he is popularly known in politics, indicated that the independent prosecutor is one of the means to fighting corruption in the country under a Nana Akufo-Addo government.

“We will set up independent prosecutor to look into all sole-sourcing contracts awarded by the NDC government since 2010. The prosecutor will have total control in the prosecution. The NDC government has been using sole-sourcing as a means to milk the country dry,” he stated.

Sir John’s comment is based on the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) letter dated 6th October 2016, requesting “single-sourced procurement approval for PURC pro-poor water project”.

In the said letter, it is stated: “the Commission is seeking approval to single-source contractors to construct boreholes in selected deprived communities”. The letter continues, “the commission seeks to proceed with Phase II of the pro-poor water project which shall cover all ten [10] regions of the country and consist a total of five hundred [500] boreholes to be drilled and mechanised”.

The letter continues “the total cost of the project for the 500 boreholes is GH¢30m.” And, no matter where the borehole is being dug, the rate per unit is quoted at GH¢60,000”.

But Sir John insisted the rate per unit for the bore-hole is four times the market rate, as according to the Animax Drilling Company, the maximum is GH¢18,000 per borehole in the remotest part of the country.

The former NPP Chief Scribe assessed that “the 500 boreholes would have amounted to GH¢9m and not GH30m. So, in all, the contract offered on sole-sourcing by PURC, has been bloated by at least GH¢21m”.

“The issue of sole-sourcing where contract figures are often over-bloated has been topical, particularly under the current NDC administration. Under normal circumstances, government contracts, per the procurement law, are supposed to be taken through open tender process and subjected to value for money audit before execution”, he indicated.

Sir John asserted that the current Mahama government has shoved this laid-down procedure aside and contracts awarded without recourse to due diligence as these contracts often go to friends and family members who often do not have the requisite know-how to carry out the job.

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