General News of Monday, 2 October 2017
RE-ALLEGATION OF CORRUPTION AGAINST TWO (2) DEPUTY CHIEFS OF STAFF FRANCIS ASENSO-BOAKYE AND SAMUEL ABU JINAPOR BACKGROUND
1. On 27th August, 2017 Kwame Asare Obeng @ A-Plus posted on his Facebook page and accused the two (2) Deputy Chiefs Staff Messers Francis Asenso-Boakye and Samuel Abu Jinapor of corruption, thievery, arrogance and stupidity and wondered why HE the President appointed the two personalities to the positions they occupy.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) started investigations to establish the authenticity or otherwise of the allegation and to take action against the individuals per Section 239 of the Criminal and other offences Act (Act 29) states “A public Officer of Juror who commits corruption, or wilful oppression or extortion in respect of the of the duties of office, commits a misdemeanour”.
2. KWAME ASARE OBENG @ A-PLUS’ CORRUPTION ALLEGATION
On 5th September, 2017 Kwame Asare Obeng @ A-Plus responded to an invitation. He stated in his statement and denied the fact that he accused and called the two (2) Deputy Chiefs of Staff as thieves. He indicated that some people post things on Facebook as if they were posted by him A-Plus. He confirmed this by showing 5 different posts on Facebook purported to have been authored by him but whiich he claimed were all not from his own page.
3. However, in his statement to the police he stood by the allegation of corruption against the two (2) Deputy Chiefs-of-Staff and gave his reason for the allegation in a write-up as follows:
a. He had known Dr. Felix Kwaku Anyah the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Korle bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) for six (6) years before his appointment. Having had series of discussions on the way forward for the hospital, the CEO requested him to assist in whatever way he could to enable him succeed as CEO. According to A-Plus, the CEO particularly requested him (A-Plus) to seek public and the staff’s perception about Korle-bu teaching hospital with the view to putting corrective measures to resolving them.
b. On his maiden familiarization tour of the Hospital facilities he accompanied the CEO on his rounds. It was observed that the hospital has no knowledge of actual revenue collected for a day or a period because the banks; Stanbic Bank Limited and Unibank Ghana Limited that do the collections do not credit the accounts of the hospital on the same day. The banks decide how much to be credited to the hospitals accounts and there is no way the hospital can confirm total collections for the day or at any given period.
Moreover due to the fact there is no interface between the two (2) banks that are doing the billing and the collections, revenue leakages continue to occur at the hospital. As a result, detection of revenue leakages becomes almost impossible. According to A Plus, in their discussions, it became apparent that an efficient Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) which links units and equipment such as X-Rays, CT scan, and Laboratory to indicate actual services rendered and how much is charged for each service was needed by the hospital to stop the revenue leakage to improve KBTH finances.
c. He reiterated that in June, 2017 at a Central Management Team meeting, a decision was taken to roll out on a pilot basis a complete HMIS that would include billing and revenue collection software to capture all the operations of major areas of KBTH. Stanbic Bank had earlier on indicated to KBTH that the Bank had a complete HMIS system that could help eliminate the revenue leakages. With the challenge of having two (2) banks interfacing for billing and collections, it was imperative to concentrate on a single bank for effective management of HMIS at the hospital. Stanbic Bank was therefore selected for piloting.
d. Based on this decision the Management Team visited the Vice-President to confer with him and to explain the challenges the hospital face in using two (2) Banks for billing and revenue collections. They also discussed the benefits of using Stanbic Bank as the only on-site revenue collection Bank at the hospital. A-Plus claimed that the Vice President agreed to their proposals that it makes economic sense to use one revenue collection Bank and use its premium billing and revenue collection software to better manage KBTH financially.
Based on this, the CEO directed the head of legal to write to Unibank to cancel the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the bank (See Appendix 1). On 12th July, 2017 a letter terminating the agreement between KBTH and Unibank was sent to the Bank giving them a 90-day notice. .Kwame Asare Obeng @ A-Plus added that UNIBANK had several weaknesses from their past operations at the Police and Ridge Hospitals referencing a letter from the Deputy Controller and Accountant General. It suggested that Unibank had inefficiency in its operations.
e. According to A-Plus when the letter to Unibank intended to cancel the MOU was delivered, the two (2) Deputy Chiefs of Staff called him and the CEO severally and put pressure on the CEO to withdraw the cancellation of the MOU because Unibank had supported NPP financially during the campaign period. According to A-Plus the two (2) Deputy Chiefs of Staff used their position to put pressure on the CEO of Korle-bu’s revenue leakage challenge.
It is based on this development enumerated that A-Plus in his personal opinion accused Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye and Samuel A. Jinapor who are Government officials that they are taking advantage of their position to favour a private business, Unibank Ghana Limited, which has not the capacity to resolve Korle-bu challenge.
That Mr. Asenso and Jinapor are extending protection, favoritism towards Unibank’s operations in exchange for contributions towards political campaign is a CORRUPT CONDUCT and breach of discipline in the performance of the work of high offices of Deputy Chiefs of Staff. He reiterated that, he never said the two had taken money from anyone. .
KORLE-BU TEACHING HOSPITAL BILLING AND CASH COLLECTION SYSTEM
4. Korle-bu teaching hospital has had previous billing and cash collection agreement with Merchant Bank in 2013 and HFC in 2015. These arrangements were cancelled due to inefficiencies in the system. In 2015, KBTH interviewed 9 banks after which 5 banks were shortlisted to go through selection process to select the best bank to do the billing and revenue collection at the hospital. Having gone through carefully prepared and agreed criteria, the selection team presented the results as follows: (See Appendix 2 for details)
a. Stanbic Bank 59.4
b. GT Bank 58.7
c. Universal Merchant Bank 57.1
d. Unibank 55.4
e. GCB Bank 48
5. The then board of Korle-bu wrote to the Controller and Accountant General (CAG) for arrangement for change over. The board decided that for competition to be created in the revenue collections, two banks were selected; Stanbic Bank (1st) and Unibank (4th). The board cited reasons for the selection as cash management and Corporate Social responsibility. (See Appendix 3). The CAG in response, cited various reason why the two selected banks were not preferred and suggested other banks to be given opportunity based on their previous track records with other Government Institutions to go through the selection process (See Appendix 4). Korle-bu however, went ahead and signed the MOU with the 2 banks for billing and cash collections.
HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (HIMS)
6. Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) is a complete information system that links equipment and the hospital processes so human induced leakages are overcome. Since Stanbic bank had indicated earlier that the Bank had the solution, the hospital management requested Stanbic Bank to include additional facility of Hospital Bed Management Module that will enable emergencies to be admitted anywhere at KBTH and to eliminate the challenges of not being able to determine which ward has vacant beds to better manage emergencies.
DR FELIX ANYAN’S TESTIMONY
7. Investigations were extended to the Korle-bu teaching hospital. Dr. Felix Anyah the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KBTH was met together with three (3) KBTH Management Team members in his office. According to the Ag CEO, he was appointed to the position on 1st June, 2017. On assumption of office he met the KBTH Management Team to look into issues confronting the Hospital and also find ways of improving the management and for the Hospital to give quality health-care and also improve the fortunes of the Hospital.
He observed that there were revenue leakages, no beds at the emergency services, malfunctioning of life support equipment and poor supply of oxygen. The Management at a meeting, agreed for the use of ICT software to electronically manage the process. Another issue that came out was the use of two (2) Banks operating without an interface system to communicate, worked against the interest of the Hospital and needed to select one efficient Bank to help manage the cash collection to help resolve the lapses and weakness in managing the revenue mobilization at the Hospital
8. On 12th July, 2017 Unibank Ghana Limited was served with a letter terminating the MOU between them and the Hospital and gave a 90-day notice. Dr Felix K. Anyah said that office records available was clear that Unibank performed poorly during the period of collection especially at the beginning of the project. Stanbic Bank had since inception, performed well during the period of operations in the Hospital and found them to be efficient and better than Unibank.
According to the CEO when the intention was rolled to move to complete HMIS to resolve some of the challenges at the hospital, Stanbic bank who had earlier on indicated that the banks had a completed HMIS was given an opportunity to make presentation to the hospital. Unibank was also given an opportunity to do a presentation to Management in respect of their HIMS but failed on 3 occasions to honour them. Based on the presentation delivered by Stanbic Bank, the management team was satisfied and requested Stanbic bank to Pilot the HMIS at the Polyclinic.
He further indicated that Unibank was also given an opportunity to Pilot at the Maternity ward even though they failed to make presentation to management as to the solution Unibank could offer. He further indicated that another reason for the abrogation of the agreement with Unibank was that allowing two Banks to operate systems that are not compatible and do not have interface to communicate effectively. Management of KBTH however thought, it will be in the interest of the public if one (1) Bank (STANBIC BANK) does the collections.
9. According to Dr, Felix K. Anyah, immediately the termination letter was sent and before Unibank could respond to the letter, calls started coming in from influential persons asking him to withdraw the termination letter. No reasons were given except that, he should withdraw the letter. Notable among the callers were the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. John-Peter Amewu, Minister of Health Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Chiefs of Staff Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye and Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor. On 31st August, 2017, Dr. Felix Anyah claimed that the pressure and frustrations encountered made him write to Unibank to disregard the termination letter.
MR SAMUEL ABU JINAPOR’S TESTIMONY
10. On 7th September, 2017 Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye and Samuel A. Jinapor responded to an invitation to assist investigation. Mr. Samuel A. Jinapor said he received a complaint from the CEO of Unibank Ghana Limited that the contract with KBTH has been abrogated in favour of a wholly foreign owned Bank to solely do cash collection at the Hospital. That Unibank was not given any opportunity to demonstrate their ability to also use electronic means to collect cash for the Hospital.
The CEO of Unibank further stated that as part of their social corporate responsibility, the Bank had invested about GHC 1.4m at KBTH. Unibank thought the Bank had not been fairly treated and thought the complaint could reach the Chief of Staff through the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff.
11. According to Mr Jinapo, on receipt of the complaint he called Dr. Felix K. Anyah, the Ag CEO of KBTH, and a colleague Government official to seek clarity on the complaint made. The CEO responded by saying he was at a programme at Sogakope for the confirmation of the District Chief Executive and that he would call back after the programme but he never called back. According to him their conversation lasted for only two (2) minutes. He thereafter informed the Chief of Staff (CSO) Mrs Abena Frema Opare and his colleague Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye about the complaint from Unibank. Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye promised to take up the issue.
MR. FRANCIS ASENSO-BOAKYE
12. Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye stated that in July 2017, he was informed by his colleague Samuel A. Jinapor of a complaint by the CEO of Unibank against the Ag. CEO of KBTH Dr. Felix Kwaku Anyah for abrogating a contract between Unibank and KBTH. He claimed to have called the CEO of KBTH to confirm the stated allegations of terminating the said agreement.
According to him, he only sought to draw the CEO’s attention that abrogating a contract was a major decision and that the CEO should have waited until there was aboard in place. He concluded that he never put pressure on the CEO and never mentioned financial support from Unibank to NPP during the campaign period.
UNIBANK GHANA LIMITED’S TESTIMONY
13. At Unibank Head Office the investigative team met with the Executive Director Mr. Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis and Legal Team of Unibank. It was revealed that before the current administration, there was an MOU between the Bank and KBTH for cash collection. That KBTH Management Team proposed to sign a contract of three (3) years with the Bank but the Bank refused to sign and proposed five (5) years. The reason was that, the Bank as part of their Social and corporate responsibility had invested an amount of GHC1.4m at the Hospital.
14. In July, 2017, Unibank received a letter from KBTH terminating an MOU between them and gave a 90-day notice to wind up without any reason. He further stated that apart from the initial teething problem during the implementation, KBTH never officially complained to Unibank of any challenge as far as the billing and cash collections were concerned. Thinking the Bank had not been treated fairly, Unibank Bank wrote back to KBTH and appealed to them to reconsider their decision. (See Appendix 5).
The said letter was copied to HE the Vice President, The Chief of Staff, The Minister of Finance, The Minister of Health and the Controller and Accountant’s General Department. According to the Executive Director the complaint to the Chief of Staff was for her to intervene to allow Unibank to do the cash collection because of investment they had put in at the hospital. The CEO of Unibank reported the matter to the Chief of Staff through Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor and also reiterated that there was nothing better than protecting a wholly owned Ghanaian corporate entity.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
15. There is an MOU between KBTH and Unibank before the CEO of KBTH Dr. Felix Anyah took office. However to enhance revenue collect and plug all revenue leakages, the KBTH Management decided to use electronic means and also one efficient Bank to achieve their goal. The KBTH Management Team opted for Stanbic Bank who had done a presentation with software and seemed to be efficient and better than Unibank. All these were done before Dr Felix Anyah took over as acting CEO of the hospital.
They then wrote to Unibank terminating an agreement between them in reference to a clause in their MOU. Unibank thought they have not been fairly treated because they have a stake in KBTH with an investment of GHC1.4m. They responded to the termination letter expressing their displeasure about the contents of the letter. The letter was copied to stakeholders who tried to intervene.
16 Investigations also revealed that HMIS is not a call banking product. It is a complete Information Technology Solution that is offered by software developers. The initial invitation to Unibank to compete for the billing and cash collection did not include HMIS. Even though HMIS solution is not a call banking product Stanbic had the solution as an enhanced product for marketing advantage purposes.
17. Investigations further revealed that there was no discussion between the CEO of the hospital and the 2 Deputy Chief of Staff to explain to the latter the rationale for opting for Stanbic Bank instead of Unibank.
18. The call by the 2 Deputy Chief of Staff to intervene was based on a letter from Unibank copied to the office of the Chief of Staff. This was very consistent with the work of the office of the Chief of Staff and by extension the Deputy Chief of Staff. The allegation of corruption/thieving by Kwame Asare Obeng @ A-Plus a Ghanaian musician was not substantiated. It was baseless and lacked credibility.