March 16, 2016

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has begun probing the controversial GH₵429million Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) scandal that rocked the country three years ago.

It has in effect, directed the Ministry of Youth & Sports to furnish it with the full list of sixteen service providers and targeted beneficiaries that were involved in the deal.

The Kwakwu Agyemang-Manu led Committee also directed the Youth & Sports Ministry to furnish the Attorney-General with copies of same documents to study all the sixteen (16) service providers and determine the value of the contract each was awarded.

The Attorney-General is further charged with the responsibility to determine if any of the sixteen service providers had refunded all the amount they were directed to do so by the GoG after abrogating the contract and report to the Committee accordingly.

The directives were spurred by infractions discovered by the Auditor-General in his audited report on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the year ended December 31, 2013.

The Auditor-General had cited GYEEDA which falls under the Ministry of Youth & Sports for failing to obtain enough evidence on the capacity and skills of sixteen it engaged before entering into agreement to provide training service valued at GH₵429million to targeted beneficiaries.

In the view of the Auditor-General, management’s failure to comply with the Procurement Act led to this anomaly.

The Auditor-General also faulted management for failing to request for or inspect the qualification of the service providers.

This practice, he noted, did not only contravene with the Procurement Act but also created an avenue for unqualified persons and companies to be awarded government contracts with its attendant risk of non-performance and other forms of malpractices.

Minister of Youth & Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, responding to the issues at the Committee sitting, Tuesday, said though he would comply with the directive, the infractions raised in the Auditor-General’s report were being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The Attorney-General, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong who took part in the Committee’s sitting told members that some amount of money has been retrieved from some of the service providers.

She however, could not tell the exact amount that has been recovered by the State.

She further told the panel that some of the firms and individuals are currently facing prosecution at the Financial Crime’s Court, citing the Republic versus Asibit and Abuga Pele as one of the cases ongoing at the court.