The Ongoing World Cup Commission Hearing


Over the last one month, the nation has been held spellbound by chilling and sickening testimonies by witnesses at the ongoing hearing by the Three-member Presidential Commission enquiring into the disgrace Ghana suffered at the 2014 ‘mundial’ in faraway Brazil.

Many Ghanaians now stay glued to their television and radio sets for hours so that they do not miss out on the narration of how some state officials, private individuals and entities superintended over the dissipation of scarce State money in a tournament where Ghana’s participation was cut short after just three matches at the preliminary stage.

However, despite the suspected cases of conflict of interest, abuse of power and procurement laws, poor flow of information, duplication of duties, lack of structures and procedures as being witnessed at the Commission hearing which is beamed live on national broadcaster, Ghana Television (GTV), many are skeptical about the outcome of the implementation of the report of the Commission.

Coincidentally, two persons, Kojo Adu-Asare and Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, former MP for Adentan Constituency, and Minister of Youth respectively who have both appeared before the Commission to testify amidst shedding of tears, called for prosecution of all personswho were indicted by the Maputo report in 2011.

“The Commissioners have lived up to the billing but with the Maputo report fresh in mind, I am worried the report of this Commission may also gather dust at the Presidency”, a Sports enthusiast told Scandal last Friday.

“From what we are witnessing at the hearing, the findings of the Commission may not be very different from that of the Maputo Committee but what is important is for the government to implement the recommendations”, he added.

Ghana’s participation in the 2011 All African Games in Maputo Mozambique ended in a fiasco and the Committee which was set up by the Ministry of Youth and Sports fingered the then Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Worlanyo Agra, and others for various malpractices.

According to the report, the then NSA Boss exclusively awarded Royal Derby Tours a contract worth US$620,000, to lift over 200 athletes and officials to Maputo for the All Africa Games.

The seven-page report said Mr. Agra also solely awarded Kwashie Tailors a contract worth GH¢66,000.00 cedis to sew suits for 205 athletes and officials. Even though the contract sum was paid, the suits were not delivered. Only 70 of the suits were ready by the time the team left for Maputo.

The rest of the suits were delivered on 19th October 2011, one whole month after the Maputo games were over.

“Furthermore, he(Mr. Agra) awarded Trafix Catering Service a contract to feed an undisclosed number of athletes and officials for an undisclosed number of days at an undisclosed unit price. In the end, the contractor presented an invoice for GH¢92,265.88 which was paid instantly without anybody in authority asking any questions,” the report stated.

The report also said that Trafix was overpaid to the tune of GHc80, 000.00.

Published below is a summary of the report which is still gathering thick dust at an obscure corner in of the offices of the Sports Ministry!

SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS
THE SPORTS COUNCIL’S VIEW OF THE CRISIS
1. The Committee rejects outright the attempted justifications propagated by senior employees of the National Sports Council that the temporal proximity of the Unity Games to the All Africa Games, and the absence of a viable GOC for almost two and half years were mainly responsible for the problems the Council encountered in planning for the All Africa Games. The Committee also rejects the notion that Government was late in releasing funds for the Games. This is because the evidence shows that the National Sports Council only submitted a budget to Government on 9th August 2011, and Government approved the budget on 12th August 2011. Indeed, the Committee believes that the multiplicity of problems experienced by Team Ghana at the Games could have been avoided with better planning, greater concern about the welfare of the youth of Ghana who were being sent to Maputo to represent the nation, more competent management of the processes, greater concern about deriving value for money in the procurement processes, and a more functional organization. As things unfolded the Committee found it difficult to eliminate the theory that the leadership of the Sports Council preferred a more chaotic organization that allowed for expenditures.

ABSENCE OF INTERNATIONAL GAMES COMMITTEE WAS DELIBERATE

2. The Committee found no reason why the traditional International Games Committee was not set up, as it was for the Commonwealth Games, a couple of years prior. The absence of the International Games Committee allowed the control of the entire procurement of the various items needed for the Games to fall into the hands of a few individuals in the leadership of the National Sports Council.

NSC BOARD SIDELINED
3. The Committee also finds that although the Board of the National Sport Council was actively involved in the planning of the Unity Games, even to the extent of drawing up contract specifications, the same Board was completely sidelined in the organization of the All Africa Games.

BREACH OF PROCUREMENT AND RULES
4. The Committee finds that the management of the procurement rules and public funds was not in accordance with the Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663). On several occasions, management exceeded the limits allowed it excessively.

5. Power was so highly centralized in the hands of a few individuals in the NSC leadership that it was virtually impossible to check the abuses of the procurement rules. The Chief Executive single-handedly awarded Royal Derby Tours a contract worth US$620,000, to lift over 200 athletes and officials to Maputo for the All Africa Games. He also awarded Kwashie Tailors a contract worth GH66, 000.00 cedis to sew suits for 205 athletes and officials. Furthermore, he awarded Trafix Catering Service a contract to feed an undisclosed number of athletes and officials for an undisclosed number of days at an undisclosed unit price. In the end, the contractor presented an invoice for GH92, 265.88 cedis which was paid instantly without anybody in authority asking any questions. Again, Romku Ventures was contracted to provide hostel accommodation for camping at the cost of GH62, 850.00 cedis, which exceeded the number of athletes and officials specified in the contract letter.

6. Clearly, the Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) was flagrantly flouted on several occasions. In most of these cases, the very least, the effort could have been made to request estimates from three companies and then the best one picked to give Ghana the best value for money. In the particular case of the air tickets, the fare almost doubled because the contractor selected was unable to pre-purchase the tickets at the first price they were quoted. The irony is that while the fare was almost-doubling, it also turned out that Team Ghana did not get confirmed seats, hence the mass confusion at airports in Ghana, South Africa and Maputo, on all legs of the journey. An earlier purchase would have save Ghana considerable amount of money and also yielded confirmed seats to enable Team Ghana make the trip to Maputo and back in a more dignified manner.

NO CONTRACT SPECIFICATION AND DOCUMENTS
The Committee finds that there was no contract specification, as well as contract documents for any of the contracts awarded by the National Sports Council. Some of the documents presented to the Committee were either after-thoughts or outright fabrications. This means that there was no standard or quality of service, not even minimum requirements like unit price, etc. The Committee believes the absence of any contract specification only partly explains the sub-standard nature and poor quality service delivered by almost all the contractors.

NO CONTRACT SUPERVISION
The Committee was shocked to discover that having awarded the contracts, no one in the establishment of the National Sports Council carried out the basic task of monitoring and supervision to ensure that the contracts were delivered according to acceptable standards.

CORRUPTION IN THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS
The Committee came to the conclusion that the procurement of goods and services was very inappropriate, and that the system needs to undergo a thorough shake up.

ENTITY TENDER COMMITTEE
The Committee finds that the Entity Committee, which is an internal body with only two external representatives, turns out to be operationally an appendage of the leadership of the National Sports Council. The membership of the Entity Committee is dominated by people in the management of the NSC and for that matter it made them incapable of independent evaluation and assessment.

The Committee also finds that very often the Entity Committee lacked the expertise and competence required to make technical decisions.

The Committee finds that Mr. Silas Attipoh did not attend the Entity Committee meeting on 12th October 2011, but yet he was paid a sitting allowance he was not entitled to.

UNDERMINING OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Committee finds that the entire organizational structure of the National Sports Council was undermined in the way its administrative processes were executed and its administrative rules flouted. The Chief Executive Officer, in almost all the contractual and financial transactions, made decisions and expected his subordinates to carry out his instructions without putting these instructions in writing in the form of memos, as is the standard practice in the public service.

The Committee finds that certain departments of the National Sports Council which should have been involved in the planning and organization of the All African Games were left out entirely. For example, the Protocol Officer, Mr. Patrick Agordzor, was totally excluded from the organization of the Games, although normally he would be the one going to the airport, dealing with the embassies, travel and tour companies, etc. Mr. Elletey, the General Secretary for Badminton and Disabled Sports was put in charge of travel operations, an area which is definitely not his area of expertise. A typical case of square pegs in round holes. The Committee could only surmise that the only probable reason why the leadership of any organization would tolerate such a situation regards personal loyalty, because the alternative explanation would be that it created the opportunity to enhance personal profiteering.

The Committee finds Mr. Ellertey to be an untruthful person, and too unreliable to be retained by the National Sports Council. He lied to the Committee several times in order to protect his bosses, and anytime he was found out he stopped answering questions from the Committee. In fact the last time he appeared before the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee asked him to help the Committee calculate the cost of feeding athletes and officials in camp based on Table 1. Mr. Ellertey flatly refused to undertake the assignment and has to date not deemed it imperative to carry out the task.

The Committee believes that given the extent of managerial incompetence, institutionalized corruption and organization rot that is going on at the National Sports Council, it is only a ‘roots and branch’ shake up of the entire setup that will rid the organization of these ills.

FAILINGS OF THE CHEF DE MISSION
Mr. Erasmus Adorkor was the main cause of the accreditation problems experienced by Team Ghana in Maputo. He failed woefully to meet deadlines set for Chefs de Mission to complete the accreditation process electronically, which would have guaranteed that Team Ghana had pre-accreditation tags before entering Mozambique.

The Committee finds that visa fees for entering Mozambique were waived for all participating countries. However, because Team Ghana had not complied with the pre-accreditation requirements Mr. Adorkor engaged in unnecessary and needless spending: $1,320.00 on visa fees; $1,750.00 on feeding; and another $538.00 on feeding, all as a result of lack of accreditation.

The Committee finds that Mr. Adorkor was negligent in booking Paradise Lodge: first, for not seeing the rooms before booking; and second, for keeping the reservations for the 10 rooms for 10 days without putting the rooms to good use or letting go of them. By not doing so, the National Sports Council lost $900.00.

POOR INFORMATION FLOW
Mr. Adorkor failed to relay information concerning the Games to both athletes and officials travelling to the Games. All Chefs de Mission were supplied dossiers that contained information needed the various sporting disciplines for the Games. Yet, Mr. Adorkor got these dossiers and kept them to himself without sharing them with athletes and officials going to Maputo.

The Committee finds that Mr. Adorkor failed to comply with the requirement that each country was supposed to inform COJA of its arrival 30 days before time. As a result no Ghanaian group was met at the Maputo Airport by a reception party.

PAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES
The Committee also finds that the National Sports Council obtained money from Government to pay the Ghanaian contingent for 22 days, but then paid them for 18 days only.

The Committee finds that the Vice-President of the Ghana Taekwondo Association, Mr. Chris Essilfie, was not paid his per diem allowance of $500.00 which was the first tranche paid to all Presidents of sports associations and/or their representatives.

NON-UTLIZATION OF FUNDS
The Committee finds that out of a total sum of GH356,725.00 cedis voted by Government for the purchase of general kitting for athletes and officials, not one pesewa was spent or utilized for that purpose. Thus, Ghanaian athletes and officials went to the Games without branded or national wear supplied by the National Sport Council. Nigeria, for example, came to the Games with at least four different uniforms, not to mention straw hats, caps, which had all been branded in national colours.

The Committee also finds that out of an amount of GH185,925.00 cedis the Government voted for the purchase of kits, equipment, and accessories for the needs of individual sporting disciplines participating in the Games, only GH44,000.00 was spent on three sports associations, leaving many associations without any kits and accessories.

The Committee finds that the President of the Badminton Association, Mr. Nestor Percy Galley, spent $150.00 of his own money in Maputo to re-string rackets and further bought seven new rackets for his players at the cost of $150.00 each. He also paid $100.00 for the one night he spent at the Paradise which he should not have paid, thus making a total sum of $1,300.00 that he should not have had to pay out of pocket.

OVER-PAYMENT TO TRAFIX CATERING SERVICE
The Committee finds that the Managing Director of Trafix Catering Service, Madam Bella Ahu, was overpaid to the tune of GH48,804.00 cedis. She presented an invoice for feeding 200 athletes and officials for 20 days at the cost of GH20.00 per day, totaling GH80,000.00 cedis. The invoice also included GH231.20 for water plus 15% VAT of GH12,034.00, all of which amounted to GH92,265.88 cedis. However, by our calculations per information received from the General Secretaries about their respective teams, Trafix could actually have fed only 148 athletes and officials over different days that numbered fewer than 20 in the case of virtually all the teams. Because there was actually no contract document stating the unit price per plate, the Committee reverted to the feeding cost of GH18.00 per day, which Trafix had charged the National Sports Council for the Unity Games.

QUALITY OF TAILORING SERVICE BY KWASHIE TAILORS
The Committee finds that Kwashie Tailor & Dry Cleaners failed to supply 205 suits to Team Ghana by 28th August 2011 as stipulated in the contract letter. Because of the late delivery of the suits Team Ghana could not use the suits for the purpose for which they were intended.

The Committee also finds that there was no supervision of the tailoring job undertaken by Kwashie Tailors, because if the job had been supervised it would have been known that only 70 suits had been delivered by the time Team Ghana departed to Maputo. The last suits were delivered on 19th October 2011, that is to say, a whole month after the Maputo Games had officially ended on 18th September.

QUALITY OF TRAVEL SERVICE BY ROYAL DERBY TOURS
The Committee finds Royal Derby Tours to have provided a very poor quality service to the National Sports Council when the latter contracted the company to airlift Team Ghana to Maputo for the All Africa Games. The main reason the company provided the poor quality service was because it did not have the money to secure the airline seats the National Sports Council had ordered.

The Committee finds Royal Derby Tours to be liable for the trauma experienced by 16 Team Ghana passengers who got stranded, and in distress, in South Africa for three days, and who ended up having to travel to Maputo by road.

The Committee finds Royal Derby Tours liable for the luggage of the Disabled Sports athletes and officials which was left behind in South Africa for a good one week. The least Royal Derby Tours could have done, knowing it was going to use Oliver Tambo Airport as a transit airport for over 200 of its passengers many of whom Royal Derby had not been able to secure through passage for, was to have stationed one of its agents in Johannesburg or negotiated with South African Airlines, or another airline, to manage the transit transactions for a fee. After all, this was a very sizeable contract for almost GH1,000,000 cedis.

The Committee finds that Mr. Erasmus Adorkor, the Chef de Mission, failed to exercise appropriate judgment by not using part of the $10,000 imprest he had on him to alleviate the suffering of the disabled athletes. Mr. Adorkor should have arranged for the luggage of the disabled athletes and officials to be airlifted from Johannesburg to Maputo within a day or two of knowing about the plight of ‘Disabled Team Ghana’. The disabled athletes, without their wheelchairs could not leave their place of lodging even to go for food; tragically, after the first day their coach, who was picking up food from the cafeteria for all the athletes, was no longer allowed to do so by the cafeteria officials.

POOR AUDITING
The Committee finds that the internal audit department is part of a very disorganized system, which would find it difficult to distance itself from a charge of being corrupt. The primary purpose of internal audit is to detect fraud. The many documentation problems the Committee came across all had stamps of approval of the Acting Internal Auditor on them, meaning that he the internal auditor had approved the transactions.

NON-PARTICIPATION IN OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONIES

The Committee finds that Team Ghana did not partake in both the opening and closing ceremonies for a variety of reasons. First, the suits for the Games were not delivered on time by Kwashie Tailors. Second, the participating sporting disciplines had either not arrived at the Games at the time of the opening ceremony because of the many travel problems, or had left the Games early to avoid the hustle and rush of the departing teams at the time of the closing ceremony.

THE MISSING $32,100
The Committee finds that Mr. Adorkor should be held liable for the sum of $32,100, which Mr. Agra persuaded Mr. YiriwanuSamboAminu, an Accounts Officer at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, to give to Mr. Adorkor, ostensibly as ‘football’s contribution to Ghana’s overall participation fees of $150,000.00. There was only one payment of $150,000.00 and no other payment. Mr. Adorkor’s claim that there was an invoice of $182,100.00 still awaits corroboration, because no such invoice has been seen by anybody.

ACCOMMODATION CRISIS
The Committee finds that majority of athletes and officials lived at the Games Village. The accommodation crisis at the Games Village compelled the two football teams to relocate to Hotel Libombos in Namaacha, a town 70 kilometers from Maputo. The Committee also finds that the accommodation crisis was so severe that every inch of space in the apartments allocated to Team Ghana was in use, with the exception of toilets and bathroom. Furthermore, the Committee finds it disconcerting that in a few instances some male and female athletes of some disciplines in Team Ghana were compelled by the crisis to sleep on mattresses in the same room, and particularly when this concerned a 14-year old female.

BUDGETING AND OVERSPENDING
The Committee finds that a large portion of the budget for sports ends up not going where it is supposed to and that unless Government takes steps to arrest this situation it would have a negative impact on the development of sports in the country.

The Committee finds that a common feature of the budget for the All African Games was continuous over-spending of monies voted by Government without permission or explanation.

AUTONOMY OF THE SPORTS ASSOCIATIONS
The Committee finds that the relationship between the Sports Associations on the one hand and the National Sports Council and the General Secretaries on the other hand should be redefined to give the sports associations ‘real’ autonomy to bring the General Secretaries under the umbrella of the associations.

The Committee finds that Ghana Swimming Association led by Mr. TheophilusEdzie over-exaggerated its ratings in the run-up to the Maputo Games in order to use that as a platform to achieve international recognition in its battle with a rival organization led by Mr. Issah Ibrahim.

PATRIOTISM AND SENSE OF DUTY
The Committee finds that it was the unique sense of duty and personal effort of Mr. Gabriel Owusu Ansah that saved Ghana from national disgrace and humiliation.

NO SERVICE STANDARDS
The Committee finds that there are no service standards by which the conduct of employees of the National Sports Council can be measured, and by which they can be held accountable.

MR ADORKOR SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE 17 KENTE CLOTHS

The Committee finds Mr. Adorkor negligent in collecting 17 men Kente cloths from the Storekeeper of the National Sports Council and not returning same to him for the past one and a half years. Mr. Adorkor should be held personally liable.

TRAVEL MATTERS OWED 18,200 AND DENIED A SHARE OF THE MAPUTO TICKETS

The Committee finds that there is documentary evidence to indicate that Travel Matters supplied 13 return tickets to the National Sports Council of the cost of $18,200.00 to enable the Ghana Athletics Association travel to Dakar to take part in a competition. The tickets were ordered by Mr. Erasmus Adorkor on the morning of 13th May 2010 when the team was due to travel. When the Al Africa Games was coming up Travel Matters was promised a share of the tickets in order to enable the travel company to defray some of its arrears, but this did not materialize.

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