The National Communications Authority (NCA) paid GH¢12,931,594.73 for consultancy services in 2016 without following proper procurement procedures.
The Auditor-General’s report on some selected institutions indicated that a review of payment documentation covering the 2016 financial year highlighted the infractions.
In its recommendations, the Auditor General urged the NCA to discourage such practices.
The NCA was also advised to “resource the NCA’s procurement unit/officers to carry out procurement activities according to the procurement law.”
“We also advised management to ensure that all procurement activities undertaken with public funds on behalf of the NCA are first captured in the entity’s procurement plan,” the report added.
Section 14 (12) (a) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) says “the Head of the Procurement Unit (and his/her team) shall be responsible for undertaking and coordinating all detailed procurement activity within the procurement entity. This shall include receiving procurement requests from originating officers, checking that the proposed procurement is within the approved procurement plan, and that budgeted funds are available prior to commencement of procurement proceedings.”
GHc4.4 million un-planned procurement
Also on procurement, the report cited unplanned procurements in the construction of an ICT Data Centre costing GH₵4,408,918.09.
“We observed that vendors listed in this report, were paid various sums of money allegedly for the construction of ICT data centres at locations which we are yet to ascertain.”
We did not find information on the procurements in the NCA’s procurement plan for the review period.
The Auditor-General department said it sought to obtain the procurement files from the NCA’s procurement unit “but found nothing.”
The report also suggested that the NCA management was overstepping its mandate.
“We urged management to discontinue the practice of usurping the functions of the procurement unit forthwith and to ensure that all procurement activities are properly captured in the procurement plan of the NCA.”
“We further entreated management to furnish the requisite files/documentation on the procurement activities listed above for our review and action as necessary failing which all related expenditure would be disallowed and responsible officers surcharged accordingly,” the report stated.