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Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall out from Ghana@50: Three Companies Have No Contract With Secretariat

Mr Justice Isaac Douse
Mr Justice Isaac Douse
Three companies which presented various claims to the commission yesterday for works done in respect of the golden jubilee celebration of the country did not have a contract with the secretariat.

The companies are Lowe Lintas, Danzo Plumbing Works and Intratek Interior. The Chairman of the Presidential Commission probing the activities of the Ghana@50 secretariat, Mr Justice Isaac Douse, noted at the commission’s sitting that what the companies presented to the commission could not be described as contract but “something else”.

But the managers of three companies insisted that letters the Ghana@50 Secretariat wrote to them approving of their proposals and inviting them to undertake works in respect of the jubilee celebration constituted a contract.

Presenting her submission, the Managing Director of Lowe Lintas, Mrs Norkor Dua, said although she did not have a formal contract with the secretariat, a letter written to her company by the secretariat approving of her company's proposal and inviting the management to refurbish the Public Records and Archives Administration Department was taken by her as a contractual agreement.

She, therefore, appealed to the commission to help her to claim her outstanding balance of GH¢241,974.50. She said Lowe Lintas was awarded a contract by the secretariat to refurbish and digitise the records at the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) in December 2006.

She said her company brought on board two companies — Pro-Design and Expert Media — to form a consortium to execute the contract.

She said the project were in two phases which her company did justice to and received a commendation letter from PRAAD for good works done.

Mrs Dua tendered copies of the letter of commendation from PRAAD to the commission. She, therefore, appealed to the commission to help her to claim her outstanding balance with interest, since she borrowed the money from her bankers who had threatened to take legal action against her company.

Making his submission, the Managing Director of Intratek Interior, Mr Richard Doe, said he also considered a letter written to his company by the secretariat approving of his proposals as a contract.

He said in 2007, the Ghana@50 Secretariat engaged the company's services to supply and instal plywood ceiling in 30 houses.
He said the total contract sum was ¢959,400,000 and had an outstanding balance of GH¢311,430,000 to claim.

But Counsel for Dr Charles Wereko Brobby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana@50 Secretariat, Mr Akoto Ampaw, disagreed with Mr Doe on the figures and said the gross value of work done was GH¢86,400 and the outstanding balance to be paid to him was GH¢17,760.

A member of the commission, Mr Osei Tutu Prempeh, asked Mr Doe why the receipts he tendered in evidence to the commission did not carry any number, but Mr Doe could not explain himself.

Mr Prempeh advised him to ensure that in future all his receipts carried numbers. The Managing Director of Danzo Plumbing Works, Mr Daniel Zowonu, making his submission also maintained that he took the letter from the secretariat approving his proposal and inviting him to carry out works as a contract agreement.

He said the contract sum was GH¢56,100 out of which he was paid GH¢40,245. He said he was also given an additional contract and the sum was GH¢23,121 and was paid GH¢18,950.

He, therefore, appealed to the commission to help him to claim outstanding balance. Mr Ampaw, during cross-examination, said a memorandum he sent to the commission did not contain the figures he quoted.

Responding, Mr Zowonu said he did not send the memorandum and that he asked his brother to send it on his behalf because he had travelled at that time and did not know what it contained.

Mr Ampaw asked him whether when he returned from his journey he requested a copy of the memorandum sent by his brother to know what it contained before appearing before the commission but he said no.

Mr Ampaw asked him whether "you think your attitude is a serious one to the commission" . "You sent a memorandum you did no know the content," he added.

Mr Ampaw told him that when one sent a memorandum to the commission it meant you held yourself to it.
He said, "If I tell you that I am directly opposed to you would you agree?”

Mr Justice Douse intervened and said the English language was too big for the witness and appealed to Mr Ampaw to speak in simple English, which he did.

The fourth witness to the commission, Mr Kwabena Anim-Danso, Managing Director of Kadabot, also appealed to the commission to help him to claim his outstanding balance of GH¢129,942.55 for the construction of a car park for the Ghana@50 Secretariat.

He said although he did not sign a contract with the secretariat in respect of the work, he signed an agreement with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture to do that work.

He explained that the ministry made him to know that the financier of the contract was the Ghana@50 Secretariat.
Mr Ampaw, during cross-examination of the witness, agreed with him and said the secretariat was aware of that.

Mr Justice Douse said Kadabot's memorandum could be described as a contract and that the commission would look into that.

Story : Michael Donkor

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