National Lottery Authority Hits Back At Bitter Worker

National Lottery Authority Hits Back At Bitter Worker

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Managers of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), have described as false and misconceived allegations they manipulated the procurement process in order to award contracts to the sister in law of the Director General of the Authority.

The management in a press statement released on Wednesday, insists allegations against the Director General of the Authority, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw and the Acting Director, Human Resource, Fiifi Amissah, are calculated at tarnishing the reputation of the Director-General.

The statement was released in reaction to “Corruption Watch” segment on Joy FM’s Super morning show alleging widespread procurement breaches by the management of NLA.

A former acting procurement manager of the NLA, Benony Blepony, had said on Corruption Watch, on Wednesday the procurement process for the supply of end of year staff packages was manipulated in favour of Ram’s Kitchen, a company said to be owned by the sister-in-law of the Director-General.

According to a document authored by Mr Blepony, five contracts were allegedly taken from two companies – Daises and Danboag – which had won bids and given to Ram’s Kitchen on the instruction of Mr Osei-Ameyaw.

In the process, the NLA, reportedly paid Ram’s Kitchen GHS17,527, more than it would have paid to the two companies which won the contracts.

Those five contracts, based on the evaluated bids of those two companies, were worth GHS157,605, but NLA paid GHS175,132 to Ram’s Kitchen to execute those same contracts.

Below is the Press statement By Management Of National Lottery

The attention of Management of the National Lottery NLA (NLA) has been drawn to a radio broadcast on the Wednesday May 9, 2018 edition of the Corruption Watch segment of JOY FM’s Super Morning Show aired around 8:45am and on subsequent news items and publications accusing the Director General of NLA, Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw of manipulating award of contracts and/or breach of procurement laws.

The host, Daniel Dadzie played back a recorded interview with a former Acting Procurement Manager of NLA, Mr. BenonyBleponny who accused the Director-General, Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw and the Acting Director, Human Resource and Administration, Mr. FiifiAmissah of manipulating the procurement process in order to award contracts to Ram’s Kitchen for the supply of End of Year staff packages.

Mr. BenonyBlepony also alleged that of the contracts awarded, Rams Kitchen won six, Daisies won one and Danboag won four but the Acting Director of Human Resource and Administration, Mr. FiifiAmissah removed the quotations of Daises and Danboag and awarded the contracts to Rams Kitchen.

He further alleged that after refusing to alter the list of registered suppliers, he has been transferred to the Volta Regional Office, Ho as a Senior Sales Executive.

Management would like to state categorically that the allegations and/or accusations are false, misconceived and have been fabricated to tarnish the image of the Director-General and the NLA.

RE-ASSIGNMENT OF STAFF

As part of administrative and structural reforms for efficiency and in line with the vision of the Board of Directors to generate more revenue for the Consolidated Fund, about 32 staff have been re-assigned to various departments some of which are at the Head Office in Accra and in other Regions and Districts nationwide. The re-assignment of Mr. Blepony is not an isolated case and forms part of ongoing administrative reforms and not connected to any issue as alleged by him. The substantive procurement Manger, Edmund Segbefia who had been re-assigned to Cape Coast has been recalled and has now assumed his managerial post; Mr. Blepony accordingly could not continue to act in that capacity.

Further the allegation by Mr, Blepony that the Director-General sent him to the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to victimize him is also false as the matter being investigated by EOCO occurred in the Year 2016 and after the Public Procurement NLA (PPA) had conducted a Procurement Audit into Procurement activities for the Year 2016.

AWARD OF CONTRACT

At no point did the Director-General and/or the Acting Director, Human Resource and Administration seek to manipulate the process in favor of Ram’s Kitchen by removing quotations of other bidders or did they at anytime ask Mr. Blepony to alter documents to favor Rams Kitchen; these allegations are false and baseless and should be disregarded.

Further, the allegation that the Director-General instructed the Acting Director of Human Resource and Administration, Mr. FiifiAmissah to remove invoices is false.  No invoices were submitted at any time by suppliers given that no invoices could be submitted prior to the Award of Contract and therefore to allege that the Director-General interfered in the procurement process by directing that certain invoices should be removed cannot be supported as it is utterly untrue and without any merit.

The procurement of Christmas Package(s) for staff of National Lottery NLA (NLA) has been in existence prior to the NLA transitioning from its original status and/or identity as a department (Department of National Lotteries) of the Ministry of Finance under the National Weekly Lotto (Amendment) Law, 1989 (PNDCL 223).

Accordingly in the last Quarter of the Year 2017, Management following approval from the Board, set in motion the procurement process to procure Christmas Package(s) for staff.

The procurement method adopted by Management was the Request for Quotation (RFQ) method. This method also known as “shopping” is based on comparing price quotations obtained from several suppliers, usually at least three (3), to ensure competitive prices.

NLA received sealed quotation(s) from three (3) out of the four (4) invited Suppliers. Evaluation of the Quotation(s) was undertaken by the Procurement Unit. It is important to point out that the Procurement Unit ranked all Quotation(s) that were responsive to the RFQ according to price and selected the lowest evaluated priced RFQ for contract award.

The Evaluation Team comprised the following:

  • Acting Director – Human Resource & Administration;
  • Senior Auditor
  • Logistics & Inventory Manager;
  • Procurement Officer.

The Evaluation Team recommended subject to the approval of Management, the award of contract to RAMS KITCHEN. It is significant to note that the Evaluation Report showed that the evaluation of the Contract

was done in Lots as captured in the Report of the Evaluation Team. The Order was not divided into parts (bulk breaking) or the value lowered to avoid the procurement rules as alleged given that a critical

examination of the Report shows that each Lot related to a specific Description and Quantity (Units and/or Kilos) of Goods required for distribution to the beneficiaries under the Contract.

Management approved the recommendation of the Evaluation Team and awarded the Contract to RAMS KITCHEN with a Local Purchase Order applying to each Lot under the RFQ.  The requirement of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663) as amended by ACT 914 and the Procurement Manual, directs the Evaluation Team to select the lowest priced RFQ for contract award.

The Evaluation Team guided by the provision(s) of ACT 663 as amended by ACT 914, proceeded to recommend RAMS KITCHEN. The Procurement Unit did not submit to the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) given that its evaluation of the method of procurement used and process did not require a meeting of the ETC.

The RFQ process applied in the Year 2017 for the Christmas Package(s) was the same process applied in the Year 2016 by the Procurement Unit under the supervision of Mr. Ben Blepony as Acting Procurement Manager and prior to the appointment of Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw as Director-General. The procurement method used is accordingly not peculiar to Year 2017.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, NLA as a revenue generating agency is one of the huge contributors to the Consolidated Fund and is committed to generating revenue for the Nation.

NLA also has a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility Program that supports institutions, communities and individuals who are most vulnerable in the areas of health, education, sports and the promotion of our cultural heritage.

NLA also organizes periodic Promotions to give back to its cherished patrons and Lotto Marketing Companies under the Caritas Lottery Platform and other retailer incentive activities.

We would like to assure the Government, our stakeholders, valued customers and the general public that NLA is focused on its core mandate of generating revenue for the Nation and creating moments of hope and excitement for the public and will not be deterred by detractors and disgruntled staff who obviously are seeking to bring the name of the NLA and its Management into disrepute and also to impugn the integrity of the NLA.

We therefore urge the public and our stakeholders to treat the allegations with the contempt that it deserves and continue to uphold the confidence it has in the NLA.

SIGNED

MANAGEMENT