The chairman of the technical committee which investigated the contract between Subah Info-Solutions Ghana Limited and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has defended its report on the case saying, it is no sham.
Some social commentators and Civil Society Organization (CSOs) have raised serious concerns over the composition of the technical committee which was set up by government.
It was made up of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the GRA, the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Attorney General (AG) and Subah Info-Solutions.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) says the institutions represented on the committee were one way or the other, linked to the case, therefore, their findings and recommendations cannot be trusted.
The chairman, Dr. Edward Siaw on Eyewitness News insisted “it is not a sham, we did a professional job and when the report went, it was looked at, it was referred to other government agencies and then government accepted it.”
He also denied reports that Subah had a representation on the committee explaining that, the three representatives from Subah only sat in the committee’s meetings during the re-negotiating of the contract between Subah and the GRA.
“They were party to the contract so that is when they came but on the other issues, like the validity of the contract, they were not part,” he clarified.
He stressed that it was imperative for the representatives of Subah to be present at the re-negotiating of the contract and therefore, there is no case of conflict of interest.
Mr. Siaw admitted working closely with the GRA through the Finance Ministry as a Tax Policy Consultant but vehemently denied any case of another conflict of interest in the investigations of the technical committee.
“I can assure you, I am a professional and I know what a conflict is and what is not a conflict,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mary Adams of the GII observed that despite the explanations being given by Mr. Siaw, “there is a case of serious conflict of interest in connection with the chairperson of the committee.”
She called for the setting up of a new committee to conduct another investigation into the Subah-GRA deal “so that we will get better results because, what we fed into the system is what we got back.”
According to her, Ghana is having serious challenges in dealing with matters of corruption “and so if we have had the opportunity and government is supposed to show commitment, we believe this is not the right way at all.”
In November 2013, government constituted a technical committee to investigate a contract agreement between the GRA and Subah Info-solutions after news broke that the GRA had paid huge amounts of money to Subah for no work done.
Subah was contracted by the GRA to electronically monitor domestic call data records (CDRs) of the telecommunication companies in the country to enable the GRA collect appropriate taxes from the telcom companies.
The technical committee was to review and renegotiate the service agreement between the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) and Subah Info-solution.
The committee’s report on the matter described the Subah-GRA contract as valid and can herefore, not be set aside.
The report also discounted earlier claims that the GRA paid GHC 144 million to Subah for services rendered within three years but clarified that an amount of GHC 74 million was rather paid.
But there is widespread dissatisfaction with the work of the committee.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana