NPP Hits Mills

Mpiani addressing the press conferenceThe opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it has nothing to do with a report prepared by President John Evans Atta Mills’ Transition Team, describing it as bogus.

The Transition Team’s report, which is to be submitted to President Atta Mills, has been described as a one-sided document that is totally unacceptable, disappointing and full of half-truths, factual errors and abnormalities.

Though the reports were supposed to have been compiled by a joint team made up of representatives of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led government and the newly formed National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, it turned out that the NPP representatives

were completely shut out of the compilation process.

Former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, yesterday led the NPP National Executive, Members of Parliament, former Ministers and Deputy Ministers and other leading members of the party to distance the party and its officials in the past government from the report.

Mr Mpiani alleged that representatives of the past government who attended sub-committee meetings with the Transition Team were not allowed to talk and that they could only talk when asked to do so.

He said it is therefore wrong for the Transition Team to put out its compiled reports and leak it to the media under the guise of a ‘Joint Transition Team’ report.

 “It is pertinent to note that after they had finished with the one-sided compilation of reports, which did not include views or representations from members of the former government, the co-chairman of the team from the current administration has now written to invite our side to a meeting ‘to agree on some loose ends taking into consideration the principles of fair play’.

“We find this gesture as coming too late… our colleagues have written their reports based on meetings they have held with bureaucrats and officials without our participation whatsoever,” Mr Mpiani stated and added that many of the said bureaucrats and officials cited as their claim to fame the fact that they helped to write the NDC Manifesto.

He said though the Transition Team initially comprised representatives of both the new and past governments, the latter group was completely shut-out and not allowed to know when meetings were held.

Mr. Mpiani explained that both teams co-operated well during the first three meetings until representatives of the new government started meeting alone and on the blind side of the NPP-led group.

“The Joint Team is co-chaired by Paul Victor Obeng for the incoming government and me, Kwadwo Mpiani, for the out-going government; nine joint-sub committees were also set up under joint chairmanships.

“The two sides held three joint meetings at the plenary level and these three meetings fit the mould of a normal transition; after the third meeting it was agreed that the next meetings would be convened after the various joint sub-committees with their co-chairs have completed their work and submitted their reports,” Kwadwo Mpiani noted and said it was at the committee level that the process deteriorated rapidly and the NPP representatives were either not informed of meeting dates and even when they heard of it and attended, they were not allowed to contribute.

Pointing out the irregularities in the report, Kwadwo Mpiani mentioned the decision of the Team to invite the Auditor–General  to present a draft audit report on the Ghana@50 celebrations in the full glare of the electronic and print media; something he claimed is contrary to the practice and ethics of the accounting profession.

“I might cite for example, the publication alleging that 39 vehicles had been retrieved from members of the past administration; the clear impression being created was that the vehicles had been taken from the officials who had tried to surreptitiously keep state property for their personal use,” he stated and added that contrary to what was happening all the vehicles had been returned to the custody of the Presidency without any prompting.

Mr. Mpiani expressed surprise that though he had submitted to the Transition Team a comprehensive list of all government vehicles, there are still claims that 139 government vehicles had not been accounted for.

He said though there is the need for forensic auditing of the past administration, it should be done within the confines of the law.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo