A corruption risk assessment report on the government of Ghana’s disbursement and use of COVID-19 funds has discovered that a total of an unaccounted amount of GH¢12.4 billion have been spent so far on procurement of services in the fight against the pandemic.
The report said the government flouted the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Act by entering into a contract with Frontiers Healthcare Services to conduct Antigen Testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
It also said some contracts were awarded purely based on relationships.
The report, titled: “Strengthening COVID-19 Accountability Mechanisms”, sponsored by the Community Development Alliance (CDA) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Foundation, revealed that “some companies were repeatedly rewarded contracts”, which, according to lead researcher Michael Ohene Effah, does not necessarily amount to corruption but is “a risk of corruption”.
At the presentation of the findings, Mr Effah disclosed that most of the contracts entered into by the government in the fight against COVID-19 did not follow due procurement processes of the country.
Mr Effah, therefore, called on Ghanaians, the media and civil society organizations to demand accountability from the government, as well as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) “to also use their own systems to check that everything has been used judiciously and have been adequately accounted for”.
The report called on the Auditor-General’s office, the Special Prosecutor’s office and all stakeholder investigative bodies to take interest in the issue and conduct independent investigations to guide the way forward.