By Patrick Biddah
The Ghana Institute of Auctioneers have sent a strong worded statement to the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Henry Quartey, asking him to stay off the activities of the Auctioneers.
The reason given by the Ghana Institute of Auctioneers is that, the deputy Minister keeps using his position to allow individuals to carry themselves as Auctioneers, when they do not have the requisite knowledge and experience making the name of the Auctioneers come into disrepute.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the President of the Ghana Institute of Auctioneers, Calvis Okine, said the ACT which sets up the Ghana Institute of Auctioneers, does not give the Ministry the powers to issue license to Auctioneers to practice.
According to him, it is the Board which has the powers to issue license to persons, but the Ministry through the deputy Minister, is issuing these licenses to persons who have not satisfied the requirements.
Party foot soldiers, he claimed has been licensed by the Ministry which is seeing unprofessionalism and questionable practices in the system by these elements.
Making reference to the ACT which sets up the Board and the power to give license, he noted that the Auctioneers Registration Board was established under the Auction Sales Act 1989 PNDCL 230 .
“It is therefore understandable in section 7 (3) of the ACT which states: All license issued by the Board shall be published in the Gazette and newspapers in the relevant districts”.
A publication therefore by the Ministry of the Interior which he Mr Okine made reference to at the press conference as being the list of Auctioneers in Ghana standing, he said is a violation of the ACT which sets up the Auctioneers Registration Board as it was called then.
For the fact that the Ministry of the Interior by law cannot give license,Mr Okineexplained that it is in view of that the Ministry cannot arrogate to itself the power to publish a list of a supposed Auctioneers in the newspapers claiming they are those in good standing.
“There is no section in the Auction Sales Act which allows either the Ministry of the Interior to publish the names of Auctioneers in good standing or the Ministry of Interior together with the Board to do so”,he added.
“We are aware that the Ministry of the Interior has oversight responsibilities or supervisory role over the Board .These are by way of receiving Auditors report of the Board ‘s yearly activities and then a report of the statement of income and expenses as indicated under section 41 and 42 of the Auction Sales Act “,he stressed.
According to Mr Okine, who spoke on a wide range of issues, also delved into the disregard for the requirement of writing and passing an examination before a license can be issued to an auctioneer.
“The Auction Sales Act of 1989, PNDCL 230 Section 5 (1) (A and B) under which the Auctioneers written examination is being conducted states :No person shall practice as an Auctioneer unless the Board is satisfied that (a)he has passed a prescribed written examination conducted jointly by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors and the Ghana Auctioneers Association and (b) he has served an apprentice for one year under a licensed Auctioneer.
The above provisions, Mr Okine noted has been violated by the deputy Minister, Mr Quartey and it is the reason the Ghana Institute of Auctioneers is alleging that New Patriotic Party foot soldiers have been licensed without writing the required examsmaking all those holding themselves up as Auctioneers as not duly qualified.
He mentioned one Mr Ekow Horace Ewusi, who is said to be a New Patriotic Party (NPP) member in the Central region and have had his name published in the newspaper as an Auctioneer in good standing when he has not written any exams .
The arrangement for the examination ,according to Mr Okine, was stopped at the at the last minute by the Deputy Minister because he said the Ministry wanted to be part of the setting of the examination setting when he has no power to do so.
The visibly angry Mr Okine , further pointed to the fact that the actions and interference by the deputy Minister for the Interior has seen Auctioneers not being able tovalue and auction properties properly and accurately when the Court has given an order to that respect .
“Those who have been licensed by the Minister illegally cannot even read and write .They are to at least be literate. The internationalpractice and standard is what we are trying to follow through the reforms that we have brought but the Deputy Minister is bringing politics in our practice which is killing the industry “,he pointed out.
As to what to do to stop the deputy Minister, he told the press conference that they will he going to Court on the matter.