PAC recommends suspension of Alex Adjei’s auction licence
Accra, The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has recommended to the Ghana Auctioneers Registration Board to suspend the license of Mr Alexander Adjei of Alex Mart, and re-examine his competence before granting him license to operate in Ghana.
Furthermore, the Auditor General should initiate a process to recover an undeserved commission he paid himself, and if practicable, charge interest for the period he held the money and any other relevant money outside the stipulated time.
The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority must ensure that Mr Adjei meets all his tax obligation under the transaction and file his tax returns accordingly.
It urged the Auditor General to evaluate the transport and other incidental costs incurred by Mr Adjei in travelling around the country to conduct auction for the Ministry and submit same to the MOFA to be paid to Mr Adjei for the expenses he incurred on behalf of the Ministry.
The recommendations were contained in PAC’s Report on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor General on the Disposal of Government Vehicles by the MOFA and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) presented by the Committee to the plenary on Thursday.
The Report was laid before the House last year, March 15, in accordance with Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and was referred to the PAC pursuant to Order 165 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.
The audit was to determine whether the MOFA and the GHS identified and assessed the vehicles earmarked for disposal in a transparent manner; and to find out whether the two institutions ensured that the auction process was competitive with proceeds from the disposal duly accounted for within the required time frame.
Among the observations made was that contrary to Section 15 (1) of the Financial Regulation Act, the Ministry did not account for the auction proceeds within the required time of 24 hours. The delay was up to 29 months.
The Committee also observed that most of the vehicles were taken out of the premises before payments were effected in contravention of Section 5.2 of the Guidelines for Disposal of Goods and Equipment by the Public Procurement Authority.
On Mr Adjei, the Committee was of the view that he did not merit a seven per cent commission paid to him by the MOFA. This is because the auctioneer admitted during the public hearing that the vehicles were already sold and allocated to MOFA staff before he arrived at the Ministry.
All that the Auctioneer did was to regularise the sale of the vehicles. Indeed, the Auctioneer was only used as a cover-up for the sale of the vehicles to the Staff of the Ministry, the Report said.
Other observations made were that there was lack of transparency in the auction process by the Auctioneer, with explanation that out of the 24 auctions, only one was advertised, the remaining 23 were not.
Also, there was very short notice of the auction done in the Volta Region. The publication was done on the 3rd and 4th of July 2013, and the auction was done on July 4 and 5, 2013.
The Committee questioned the professional competence of Mr Adjei, and said he did not exhibit professionalism in his work in view of the numerous infractions he committed during the auction process.
It said officials of the Ministry acted without due regard to their responsibility as the custodians of the properties of the State.
Source: Ghana News Agency