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Minority demands inquiry into Frontiers Healthcare deal

The Minority has demanded a bi-partisan inquiry into the Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited contract, awarded in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The call for inquiry comes after some ministerial nominees failed to give details of the company that was contracted to test for the virus at the Kotoka International Airport, at a cost of $150.

The National Democratic Congress legislators said it was important for the government to expediate action and punish anybody found culpable.

At a press briefing in Parliament, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the evasive answers from the appointees who were directly related to the deal smacks of an attempt to cover up an illegality.

The North Tongu MP Ablakwa is expected to move the motion when the house resumes in March.

Mr Ablakwa also accused the government of breaching section 41 of the PPA act, which clearly spells out the terms of such a contract.

Ministers who denied knowledge of the contract

The Health Minister designate Kwaku Agyeman-Manu was the first to deny knowledge of the said contract.

Dr Agyeman-Manu explained that the arrangement was carried out by the presidential taskforce supporting the health ministry on containing the COVID scourge.

“They actually did the procurement, I do not know much about it,” he said.

The former deputy Attorney General, now being vetted as the Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame also said he does not know anything about the deal.

The Foreign Minister-Designate, Shirley Ayokor Botchwey, who was Foreign Minister when the contract was signed also denied having seen the specific details of the contract.

Following that, the former Minister of Procurement Sarah Adwoa Safo, joined the four other government officials to deny involvement in the deal.

When asked before Parliament, she said she did not know the processes that led to the selection of the company conducting the COVID-19 test.

Pressed for further details of the process leading to the deal, the now Gender Minister designate said the former Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, was the best person to furnish the committee with the said details.

The Dome Kwabenya legislator hinted that the Public Procurement Act of 2003 was not changed during her tenure as Minister of State for Public Procurement.

“So, the supervisory minister which is clearly stated in the law is the Minister for Finance, she explained.

The government engaged the services of Frontier Healthcare Solution Services Limited under the emergency procurement to carry out rapid COVID tests at the airport following reopening of the facility to international passenger flights.

 

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