BoG staff comfortable; didn’t need $504K gold watches – Afenyo Markins

Alexander Afenyo Markins, Effutu MP The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency says the decision b...

Alexander Afenyo Markins, Effutu MP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency says the decision by the Bank of Ghana to purchase gold watches for its workers is in bad taste.

Alexander Afenyo Markins says workers of the Central Bank are living comfortable lives because of the prevailing working conditions at the bank. They do not need to be rewarded with gold watches for services done the nation, he said.

Speaking to Evans Mensah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story programme Wednesday, the outspoken NPP legislator said: “It is very rewarding to work at the Bank of Ghana [because] you retire on your pension; you have your house [and] with all these you still go the extra mile to buy gold watches.”

The Bank of Ghana has served a document to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to single source the procurement of ladies and gents gold watches valued at EUR 450,000 to Messrs ‘A’ Swiss Watch Company Limited in Accra.

Per this decision, BoG is expected to spend half a million dollars on 72 pieces of gold watches comprised of 18 karat of ladies gold watches that is 25 units and 18 karat of gents gold watches which is 48 units. Related Article: BoG defends using sole sourcing to purchase $504,000 gold watches for workers.

The watches would be given to workers of the bank who “had served with the Bank for 30 years or more and are due to retire compulsorily from the service of the Bank in the years 2016 and 2017.”

The BoG document detailing the decision to use single sourcing The information came to public knowledge after the New Statesman newspaper intercepted the document dated July 22 that the BoG addressed to PPA. Part of the document reads: “BoG intends to use its 2016 budgetary allocation to fund the procurement activity.”

BoG Communications Director, Bernard Otabil had defended the decision by the bank to sole-source the purchase of the gold watches on Joy News Wednesday.

He argued the bank did no wrong, saying “No procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval.”

Regarding the decision to spend the half a million to purchase gold watches for workers, he said the bank’s package system is not different from what is pertaining to other companies in the country.

But the NPP MP who is also a Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee says the bank cannot justify its use of single sourcing in the purchase of the gold watches.

“The grounds for sole sourcing are clearly stated in the Act,” he said, arguing the bank is engaging in brain game with Ghanaians. Section 40 (1) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) reads: "A procurement entity may engage in single-source procurement under section 41 with the approval of the Board;

(a) Where goods, works or services are only available from a particular supplier or contractor, or if a particular supplier or contractor has exclusive rights in respect of the goods, works or services, and no reasonable alternative or substitute exists;

(b) Where there is an urgent need for the goods, works or services and engaging in tender proceedings or any other method of procurement is impractical due to unforeseeable circumstances giving rise to the urgency which is not the result of dilatory conduct on the part of the procurement entity;

(c) Where owing to a catastrophic event, there is an urgent need for the goods, works or technical services, making it impractical to use other methods of procurement because of the time involved in using those methods;

(d) Where a procurement entity which has procured goods, equipment, technology or services from a supplier or contractor, determines that (i) Additional supplies need to be procured from that supplier or contractor because of standardization;

(ii) There is a need for compatibility with existing goods, equipment, technology or services, taking into account the effectiveness of the original procurement in meeting the needs of the procurement entity;

(iii) The limited size of the proposed procurement in relation to the original procurement provides justification;

(iv) where the procurement entity seeks to enter into a contract with the supplier or contractor for research, experiment, study or development, except where the contract includes the production of goods in quantities to establish commercial viability or recover research and development costs; or (v) Where the procurement entity applies this Act for procurement that concerns national security and determines that single-source procurement is the most appropriate method of procurement."

These grounds, he said must be satisfied by the bank could seek the approval of the PPA to use single sourcing.

Nonetheless, he was emphatic PPA has got a lot of things wrong in the country in the manner it permits sole sourcing without due diligence, mentioning the awarding of the single window system contract aimed at harmonizing trade at the ports.

With Parliament resuming business on October 11, the MP said he will push for a bi-partisan inquiry into the matter to “unravel the truth and why the bank at this time of austerity will make this gold purchase.”

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