Community Development Alliance (CDA-Ghana) and the Commonwealth Foundation have published a report that cites the government for poorly managing over $2 billion sourced from different sources to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.
According to the report, the government accessed and spent a total of GHS12,440,710,000 ( or $2,144,950,000) from the World Bank, IMF, Ghana Stabilisation Fund, Contingency Fund of the Stabilisation Fund, Ghana Heritage Fund, Ghana Exim Bank and the Covid-19 Trust Fund for various activities to quell the effects of the virus.
â€œThe assessment was carried out in March to April 2021, based on a review of background documentation, including the national legal regulatory framework for public procurement, with focus on integrity-related issues, official records in both electronic and hard copy formats, checks with state agencies, and interviews governance and anti-corruption experts,â€ the 67-page report explained.
Dubbed â€œStrengthening Covid-19 Accountability Mechanisms (SCAM)â€ the two institutions said their evaluations are consistent with the international regulatory framework, particularly World Bank directives on public procurement, for best practice evaluation.
In its findings under the heading â€œIrregular Procurementâ€, the report stated that contract awarded to four Ghanaian garment manufacturing companies who had been given loans of $10m through the Ghana Exim Bank to produce PPEs, face masks, medical scrubs, hospital gowns and headgears was without tender and the companies had been selected.
â€œThe companies were also not registered with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) at the time of contract award,â€ the report stated.
According to the report, a $1m contract awarded to develop the COVID-19 tracker app to two foreign companies namely iQuent Technologies and Ascend Digital Solutions (registered in Jersey, a tax haven) was irregular. The two companies were not legal persons in Ghana at the time of the contract was awarded, were not registered with the PPA, and did not go through tender.
Also, contracts worth GHÂ¢60m for fumigation services and logistics such as sanitizers, masks, dustbins, cleaning kits etc to all districts by the Ministry of Local Government from its allocation under the District Assemblies Common Fund for the 2020 fiscal year was mostly without tenders.
Read the full report below.