Cash for seat: Trade Ministry engaged in “serious ethical violations”

Renault

The Minority report of the Parliamentary Committee probing the ‘Cash-for-Seat’ saga has indicted the Trade and Industry Ministry of engaging in “serious ethical violations” by allowing its credibility as a public agency to be used to “amass profit” at last year’s Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA).

The indictment contained in a 32 page report authored by the Minority side of the five-member Committee comes in the wake of understanding by Starr News that the Committee was set to exonerate the Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen of any wrong doing in the controversial transactions in its yet to be submitted report.

The committee, however, found as improper the use of public accounts to receive private monies by the trade ministry, as occurred during the awards where it emerged that expatriate businessmen were made to pay as much as $100.000.00 to sit close to President Akufo-Addo at the event, according to Starr News sources.

Throughout the sittings of the Committee, the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Millennium Excellence Foundation-organisers of the awards ceremony strongly repudiated allegations of any wrong doing.

But according to the Minority report, that was not the case observing that; “Notwithstanding denials to the contrary, there is evidence on record to the effect that, in its initial conception, the event had the President of the Republic as the center of attraction and that payment for seats bore a direct relationship to the distance of the payor’s seat from the presidential high table. Furthermore, the evidence shows clearly that Mr. Ashim Morton forged documents in a desperate attempt to cover up this blatant fact.”

“The Ministry of Trade and Industry,” it continued “contravened existing law on public financial management, particularly the Financial Administration Regulations, by allowing the use of an existing account for the receipt of monies that it claimed were private funds.”

The Ministry added the Minority apart from engaging in serious ethical violations further “engaged in deceitful practices in the process of the organization of the awards event by selecting companies for awards even when the companies had not submitted information meeting the designed criteria and also forged documents meant to deceive the Committee and Parliament as a whole.”

The report further stated that they either “failed or neglected to take account of possible violations of foreign corrupt practice laws and regulations in the conception, design and organization of the expatriate business awards.”

Download the full report hereAdhoc Committee [Cash for Seats] Report [Updated]

 

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM

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