- Joy News report hints at another potentially scandalous deal made by erstwhile government appointees
- Report alleges a waste bin procurement deal has been grossly overpriced by Jospong Group companies
A recent report by Joy News has suggested that a contract awarded last year to procure refuse bins awarded to five companies was grossly inflated by over a hundred million Ghana cedis.
In November last year under the John Mahama led administration, government via the Local government and Rural Development Mnistry awarded a contract to procure 900,000 refuse bins and liners at the price of $74,040,000 (GHC 318,000,000), with an even $60 buying the actual bins, and the remaining $14,040,000 going towards the procurement of the refuse bin lining.
Now according to a report published by myjoyonline.com in a series titled Robbing the Assemblies, the $74 million contract has been questioned on several points, the first of which being its hefty price tag, and why government awarded the contract through sole sourcing - with the Public Procurement Authority's (PPA) consent - as opposed to the competitive bid procedure.
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The report states the then Local Government Minister, Mr. Collins Dauda, wrote a letter to the PPA saying that the reason why sole sourcing was used was because the refuse bins were needed urgently in light of the upcoming rainy season and the threat of a Cholera outbreak that came with it.
Although with the then minister's letter being date October 18th, 2016 in what would be the dry season, some of questioned the use of urgency as a reason. Nevertheless, the PPA approved the contract.
On the other hand, it seems as though the directive to procure the refuse bins came from the office of the president via a letter from then Presidential Chief of Staff, Mr. Julius Debrah.
"Reports reaching the Presidency, however, indicate that the indiscriminate littering of waste is still a very big challenge confronting the MMDAs... The indication is also that most households lack disposal facilities such as litter bins and hence they resort to dumping in open places... To reverse this serious challenge, your ministry is to take necessary action to facilitate the procurement of an initial One Million litter bins for distribution to households to be used for waste disposal.”
Furthermore according to the report, though five different companies were awarded the procurement contract, all five companies handpicked by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development happen to be subsidiaries of the Jospong Group of companies (Universal Plastic Products and Recycling company Limited, Yeeco Plastics Ghana Limited, JSA Logistics Limited, Able Plastic Recycling Limited, Meridian Waste Management Services Limited).
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Mr. Collins Sarpong, President of the Ghana Institute of Procurement, has also questioned the contract. Acording to him, instead of using sole sourcing, government could have used a restricted tendering procedure to award the contract, also pointing out how come all five companies were owned by the Jospong Group.
According to Myjoyonline.come's investigative findings, a 240 liter refuse bin costs about GHC 135, while a pro forma invoice obtained by Joy News from one of the five companies [Universal Plastic Product and Recycling Ltd] quotes the price of GHC 150 for a 240 liter bin. Furthermore, a previous contract awarded by the Local Government Minister adds an additional cost of GHC 15 for the transportation of the bins.
However, the contract states that the Jospong Group has quoted $60 (GHC 258) dollars as the price for a single bin at the exchange of the time at which the contract as signed.
Joy News' report also finds a price discrepancy in the price quoted for disposable refuse bin lining, which has been quoted as $14,040,000 for 900,000 bin liners. This puts each plastic bin liner $10.7, as opposed to the $3.3 price listed by Universal Plastic Product and Recycling Ltd.
The report also states that neither the Local Government Ministry nor the minister in charge in at the time have chosen to comment the findings. An attempt to secure a comment from former presidential Chief of Staff Julius Debrah have also proved fruitless.
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