‘Paid for no work done’ auctioneer sweats at PAC in sale of 24 vehicles

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm April 26, 2017 15:10

‘Paid for no work done’ auctioneer sweats at PAC in sale of 24 vehicles

Officials of the Ministry for Food and Agriculture have pleaded for mercy from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the auctioning of 24 state vehicles in a manner the Auditor-General describes as irregular.

The Auditor General’s report says the vehicles were sold in an unfair, uncompetitive and less transparent manner.

The man at the centre of the transactions, Alex Smart,  an auctioneer later admitted he earned a commission for no work done.

He came to this admission when officials of the Ministry of Agriculture appeared before PAC and were grilled for the transaction done in 2013.

The Committee chaired by Deputy Minority leader James Avedzi found that officials at the Ministry distributed the cars among some staff before the auction could even take off.

Alex Smart said it was difficult getting the winners of the auction to pay for the cars but when he succeeded in doing so he took his commission of 7%.

According to the Auditor General’s report, although Alex Smart received payment for the cars late 2013 he paid the money to the revenue unit in August 2014.

Sweating to provide a justification, the auctioneer tried to challenge the findings of the Auditor-General report.  He abandoned the move after the committee explained the report can only be challenged in court.

He would later explain that he followed the auctioning process which required a publication of the intended sale in the national dailies. He said this publication was done in the Ghanaian Times.

The committee inquired whether the publication was attached to the offer made to the beneficiaries as prescribed by the regulations.

“I didn’t know that I had to attach publication. If not for this audit I would not have known” he pleaded ignorance.

A Director at MOFA pleaded with the committee to be forgiven for breaching the regulations.

He explained the transaction happened before he was appointed Director. He said the deputy Director at the time of the irregularity is now on retirement.

He explained that all auctioning that has taken place since he assumed office has been legitimately done.

“We have learnt our lesson and we have not repeated it and will not repeat it” the Director of Agric Engineering Services told PAC.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm April 26, 2017 15:10
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