Former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere Darko is imputing criminality in the contract awarded to West Blue Company by the presidency.
According to him, the presidency breached several sections of the procurement law in awarding the contract to the company.
In a new twist to the unfolding Destination Inspection Companies and Bankswitch scandal, it has emerged the presidency instructed the Finance Ministry to award a new contract to West Blue on sole sourcing.
Myjoyonline.com obtained a copy of a leaked letter in which the Chief of Staff, on the say so of president John Mahama, instructed the Finance Ministry to take steps in appointing West Blue Company as a new company to operate a national single window at the country’s ports.
The letter dated May 12, 2015, said:
“In pursuant to his Excellency the president’s decision you are directed to formally engage West Blue Ghana Ltd to undertake the following services;
1. Software implementation and support activities to GRA and related agencies for takeover of functions of DICs on 1 September, 2015.
“…You should take the necessary steps to secure the Public Procurement Approval in order to engage West Blue on Single Source basis,” the letter said.
Myjoyonline.com can confirm that all five Destination Inspection Companies at the ports will not have their contracts renewed when it expires in August.
A National Single Window to be operated by West Blue Company will begin operations from September, 2015.
GCNet, a company within the ports, has written to the Trade Minister informing him about the possible breach of contract by government if it went ahead to give the Single Window contract to another company.
The company insists it is performing the same functions for which West Blue has been contracted.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko said the award of contracts to companies at the country’s ports have largely been influenced by corruption and not national interest.
According to him, the amount of money the five DICs made at the ports in a single year was $100 million which is one percent of the total revenue accrued from imports.
With the five DICs on their way out it means one company is likely to benefit from this largesse at the ports.
Copiously quoting portions of the Procurement Law, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko said the presidency has breached the law in appointing West Blue to takeover operations under a national single window.
“Act 663 of 2003, states in part that an entity may engage in single source procurement with the approval of the board:
(a) where goods, works or services are only available from a particular supplier.
(b) where there is an urgent need for the goods , works or service.
(c) where owing to a catastrophic event it is impractical to use other methods in procurement because of the time involved,” he quoted the law as saying.
He argued West Blue cannot be said to be the only company providing the services for which it has been contracted.
Indeed the five DICs and GCNet are performing the same function so under what condition was West Blue sole sourced to provide the services at the ports? he asked.
The former Editor of the Statesman newspaper also argued further that before a procurement can be sole sourced there has to be price quotations from a supplier or contractor. He does not understand how from the presidency, instructions will be given to the Finance Minister to, at all cost, give a contract to West Blue Ghana Limited when there has not been any price quotations.
He is convinced a breach of the procurement law is a criminal offence and the presidency must be guided.
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