It appears the stories of misuse of public funds unearthed by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament won’t go away.
Every year, officials of ministries, departments and agencies appear before the Committee and speak about their expenditure. In most cases, huge losses running into millions of cedis are revealed, but are barely recovered.
In the latest development, it has emerged that the Foreign Ministry spent GHS7.9 million on a building renovation project. This is in spite of the fact that it was originally pegged at GHS 1.4 million. The project was completed after 13 years of delay.
The Ministry says the rehabilitation of Adu Lodge Guest House was originally to cost GH¢1,435,728.99, but was executed at GH¢7,967,886.57.
According to the Ministry, the reason for the delay is that the contractor was sick. The contract was awarded to International Development Resources on March 15, 2007.
The Acting Chief Director, Ambassador Ramses Joseph Cleland, said the project halted a year later due to the contractor’s ill-health.
Appearing before the PAC on Friday, January 20, 2023, the Ministry said the project was revisited in March 2019. He explained that upon the request of the consultant, it was re-valued to GH¢7,967,886.57 for the same contractor to execute.
The Auditor General’s report said as of June 2019, GH¢7,741,501.60 (representing 90% of the contract sum) had already been paid. The Ministry says the project was finally completed and handed over to them after 13 years of delay.
The Committee asked if the terms of the contract allowed for the inability of the contractor to execute the project in due course, to come at a cost to the state.
The Chief Director said the best person to respond to that was the estate officer, who was not present at the committee sitting.
The PAC thus directed the Ministry to furnish it with the contract and all necessary documents for a determination on the matter in its report.
Source – Tru News Report