Eleven contracts awarded to the sister-in-law of the Chief Executive of the National Lotteries Authority, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, has raised questions of conflict of interest.
The CEO approved the contracts worth more than half a million cedis to Rama Hassan to supply end-of-year packages.
All the contracts were dated November 29, 2017, and awarded to Rama Hassan who is the sole proprietor of Ram’s Kitchen to buy more than a 1,000 bags of rice, canned drinks, corned beef and tinned tomatoes.
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The NLA boss is not allowed by the Procurement Act to approve contracts more than 100,000 cedis. The highest of the 11 contracts is 99,470 cedis.
Speaking to Corruption Watch in an interview, Rama Hassan insists she won the contracts on merit and not based on her family ties to Kofi Osei Ameyaw.
“I heard about the bid process. I applied for it…I went through the process…I got the contract, free and fair”, she maintained.
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Her company is no longer operating three months after executing the NLA contracts, Corruption Watch has found.
In a reaction on Citi FM, the NLA Chief Executive defended the award of the contracts to his sister-in-law and suggested the law does not forbid a relative of a public office holder from doing business.
“I don’t preside over the process of procurement. People just go around and make preposterous allegations.
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“It is about time Ghanaians stop all this hullabaloo about who is a relative and who is not a relative.
“If a company …bids for a project competitively….and somebody wins, I don’t think it is conflict of interest. People don’t even understand what conflict of interest means,” he stressed.
A procurement expert, Godfrey Ewool has raised concerns that separate purchasing orders were made for food items from a single supplier.
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He believes it would have been reasonable if multiple suppliers were involved.
The procurement expert said to establish an actual conflict of interest it must be determined that an evaluation of the various bids was done.
The report of the officer who carried out the evaluation ought to be examined to understand the basis for which Ram’s Kitchen was selected.
“If it is established that there was no proper evaluation…then we have a case of conflict of interest,” he said.
He said the Chief Executive should have recused himself from the processes leading to the award.