The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has indicted Alex Smart, an Auctioneer for receiving a commission of GHC 33,000 for virtually doing no auction.
According to the PAC, Alex Smart was directed to auction 24 vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in 2013 which amounted to GHC419,000.
However, even before the auction could take off, officials at the Ministry distributed the vehicles among some staff.
Nevertheless, Alex Smart took his commission of seven percent on the transaction for practically doing no auction.
This was revealed when officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on the disposal of government vehicles by the Ministry.
The PAC is holding public sitting on the Performance Audit of the Auditor-General Report for the year 2015.
Mr Alex Adjei, Chief Executive of Alex Smart, an auctioneer admitted earning seven percent commission on the auction.
He explained that it was difficult getting the winners of the auction to pay for the vehicles but when he succeeded in doing so he took his commission of seven percent.
He also clarified that he followed the auctioning process which required a publication of the intended sale in the national dailies.
when the Committee inquired whether the publication was attached to the offer made to the beneficiaries as prescribed by the regulations, he answered"I didn't know that I had to attach publication. If not for this audit I would not have known" he added.
Dr Nural Gyeille, Minister of State, Ministry of Food and Agriculture who also appeared before PAC pleaded with the Committee for mercy for the Ministry.
He assured the Committee of the Ministry’s resolve to ensure that such violations were not repeated again.
He explained that among the vehicles that were auctioned, it was only payment for one particular vehicle that took 29 months and not the rest of the 23 vehicles.
Mr Benjamin Gaise, Acting Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture pleaded with the committee to be forgiven for breaching the regulations.
He explained that the transaction happened before he was appointed Director and that the Deputy Director at the time of the irregularity was now on retirement.
He explained that all auctioning that had taken place since he assumed office had been legitimately done.
Mr George Brantuo, Director of Agriculture Engineering Services stated before the Committee that the Ministry had learnt it’s lessons and would not repeat such misconducts again.
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