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GRA/SML contract audit order a whitewashing attempt by Akufo-Addo – Minority Leader

Source The Ghana Report

Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson says President Akufo-Addo wants to whitewash the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML) contract.

On January 2, 2024, President Akufo-Addo ordered the immediate suspension of the revenue assurance contract signed between GRA and SML.

The President appointed the audit, tax, and advisory services firm, KPMG, to conduct an immediate audit of the transaction.

But the minority leader says the directive is a day late and a dollar short and perceives it as a strategy to dissuade Parliament from fully exercising its oversight responsibility over the contentious contract.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, January 2, the Ajumako Enyan Essiam lawmaker emphasized that NDC MPs remain vigilant and will not be misled.

Dr Ato Forson assured Ghanaians of the commitment of the NDC MPs to ensuring a thorough investigation into the scandal and holding all those found culpable accountable.

“The President, who should have led this fight in the wake of this scandal, is playing catch-up since Parliament has also directed GRA to suspend all payments to SML.”

“This whitewashing attempt by the President in the name of an audit will not dissuade Parliament from looking into this matter to stop the siphoning of state resources into the private pockets of government officials and their crony business partners.”

Dr. Ato Forson’s remarks come in the wake of President Akufo-Addo’s directive to audit the contract between the GRA and SML.

KPMG has been appointed to conduct the audit, which is scheduled to take two weeks.

A press statement from the Presidency, released by Communications Director Eugene Arhin, details the specific terms of reference outlined by President Akufo-Addo for the upcoming KPMG audit.

Background

The President’s directive comes after an investigation by The Fourth Estate revealed that SML had been awarded contracts that entitle the company to more than $100 million yearly.

The company admitted it was not performing the advertised services that claimed to tackle under-reporting, diversion and dilution when confronted with evidence. It has since deleted those claims from its website.

The Managing Director of SML, Christian Tetteh Sottie, also admitted that the company’s claim that its services had saved Ghana GHS3 billion was false.

The directive reflects a commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in executing the GRA’s contractual agreement with SML.

 

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