Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

President Akufo-Addo directs audit into SML GRA contract

A storm has erupted in Ghana’s financial sector as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ordered the immediate suspension of a controversial contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilization Ghana Ltd (SML). The contract, awarding SML revenue assurance services across various industries, has been riddled with allegations of irregularities, prompting an independent audit and a temporary halt to its execution.

The contract, signed in 2019, tasked SML with monitoring revenue collection in the downstream petroleum sector, upstream petroleum production, and the value chain of minerals and metals resources. However, questions have been raised about the procurement process, with critics claiming a lack of transparency and competitive bidding. Doubts have also been cast on the contract’s value for money, with accusations of inflated costs and unclear benefits for the GRA.

Responding to these concerns, President Akufo-Addo took decisive action. He has appointed KPMG, a reputable audit firm, to conduct a thorough investigation into the entire transaction. The audit will explore several key aspects, including:

  • Rationale and Need Assessment: Whether a proper assessment of needs was conducted before the contract was approved and how well the agreement aligns with the identified needs.
  • Procurement Process: Whether the selection of SML followed legal and industry best practices, ensuring fairness and competitiveness.
  • Contract Scope and Performance: Whether SML’s current activities align with the agreed-upon scope, and if any deviations exist.
  • Value Delivered: The extent of benefit SML has provided to the GRA through the engagement.
  • Financial Arrangements: A review of pricing structures, payment terms, and any potential financial compliance issues.

KPMG has been tasked with completing the audit within two weeks and submitting a comprehensive report with recommendations to the President.

Furthermore, the President has directed the Ministry of Finance and the GRA to cooperate fully with the audit and temporarily suspend the execution of the contract, including any scheduled payments, until the report is received and further directives are issued.

This swift action reflects the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability. The suspension of the contract and the appointment of an independent audit demonstrate a willingness to address public concerns and ensure all transactions are conducted ethically and in the best interests of the Ghanaian people.

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