Over Procurement Irregularities
The Managing Director (MD) of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT), Noble John Appiah, has been ordered by the Board of the company, to proceed on leave, following a Procurement Audit report, dated July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014, indicting him of serious misconduct.
The ex-boss of the National Road Safety Commission’s (NRSC) action has been described by the Board as, “totally unacceptable”, after it was identified that, he took unilateral decisions without recourse to the Board.
He is to take his outstanding annual leave for the 2013/14 working period and part of the 2014/15 leave, which in total should be at least twenty working days. His leave started Monday, October 27, 2014.
A letter incepted by The Herald addressed to the Minister of Transport, Aku Dzifa Ativor, headed “Notification of Managing Director’s Leave of Absence From Office” signed by the Board Chairman, Osabirima Ansah Sasraku II, copied to various individuals, including the Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani and Executive Secretary to the President, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, revealed the sorry development at the state-owned transport company.
The letter, dated October 23, 2014 said, “following a procurement audit caused by the Board to be conducted in the company, the Managing Director, was found to have seriously breached the procurement processes and procedures and conducted his affairs at managing the company in total disregard to all known acceptable norms”.
This paper is informed that following the detection of the failure of Ing. Appiah to apply the law to the latter, the Board of Directors, issued a query to him to explain his conduct, but at an emergency meeting to consider the MD’s response on Tuesday, October 22, 2014, the Directors found his responses lacking merit and his conduct totally unacceptable, therefore, asked him to proceed on leave.
In his absence, the Board, has instructed his deputy Ing. John Awuku Dzuazah to take over, while a full report from the Board with respect to happenings in the company, including decisions and recommendations on the way forward is to be submitted to the government for consideration and further action subsequently.
The on-leave MD, was also questioned on various malpractices, including irregular procurements and breaches.
A query letter dated September 29, 2014 to Noble John Appiah said, while he had an approval limit for items like Goods and Services as GHC20, 000 and Works GHC 50, 000, the MD though sought the Board’s approval to increase the two items, but had clandestinely gone ahead to approve the expenditure long before the consideration of the Board.
Summary of the money spent were as follows: GHS 7, 870, 423. 62 being for the purchase of goods, administrative expenses amounting to GHC 1, 813, 549.67 and contracts being GHC 136, 193. 25.
A four-page letter also revealed instances where Selective Tenders involving sums way above the MD’s approval limits and without the Board’s approval. It listed the money spent as follows: GHC 9, 882, 729. 29 on December 2013 VDL spare parts, Euros 314, 378. 56 on December 2013 VDL spare parts and a February 2014 Tata Spare Parts covering 393, 785. 48.
Other irregularities uncovered include; the extension of contracts without the Board’s approval amounting to GHC 924, 700. The document added that the original contract, which was awarded in 2012 and approved by the Board, was this time extended by the MD alone, without the Board’s knowledge.
Some breaches that were not captured in the report says that at an emergency meeting held at Alisa Hotel on July 9 2014, the MD was issued an instruction to carry out a directive of the Tender Committee by awarding the tender for supply of tyres to Allied Homes Stores Ltd, which he complied, but while at it, Ing. Appiah had as far back as July 22, 2014, wrote to Rana Motors offering the same contract to them.
The under fire MD, is also said to have engaged in the recruitment of operational staff for a yet-to-be concluded 200 City Buses from China, without the knowledge and approval of the Board and the Transport Ministry. More to come!