The query was immediate. And the denial was categorical.
“Is it your firm?”
“Then how do you know the business?”
“It’s my cousin,” reported A.B. Adjei, the CEO of Community Procurement Authority (PPA).
Investigations by freelance investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has revealed that Expertise Discovery Confined (TDL), a firm incorporated in June 2017, has won a selection of governing administration contracts by way of restrictive tendering.
Manasseh Azure Awuni has also confirmed that the enterprise was engaged in providing contracts. Undercover encounters with the Typical Supervisor of the Enterprise, Thomas Amoah, disclosed that the business was selling a ¢22.3 million highway agreement to K-Drah Company, a bogus corporation Manasseh used for the investigation.
This contract was awarded to B-Molie Minimal, a company Mr Amoah stated was a sister organization of TDL.
The corporation also experienced for sale a Ministries of Will work and Housing contract to build a concrete drain in Santa Maria in Accra as well as a agreement to build a one particular-tale dormitory block in the Asante Akim North District.
Following demanding and taking a registration price of ¢5000 and deposit from Manasseh’s undercover agent, the Typical Manager of the TDL, who is also the one particular who indications the contracts on behalf of the company handed over three contracts, when K-Drah Organization promised to occur on a unique Thursday and pay back for a single of the initiatives.
The Ministries, Departments and Organizations (MDAs) have confirmed that the contracts remaining sold by Expertise Discovery Confined are reliable contracts that have been awarded to the organization. The business has had contracts with the Ghana Water Enterprise (GWCL), Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHPHA).
It also has contracts with the Ministry of Education and learning, Ministry of Functions and Housing, and 4 contracts with the Ministry of Exclusive Growth Initiatives to assemble dams under the government’s 1 Village One Dam Task. At the time of submitting this report, Talent Discovery Limited has been shortlisted for restrictive tendering by the Lender of Ghana for the provide and set up of air purifiers. The enterprise has also been shortlisted by the Streets and Highways Ministry for 3 road contracts and the evaluation is currently ongoing.
The PPA Board has confirmed that TDL was shortlisted by the Ministry of Interior Cities and Zongo Development for a deal in 2018. The board also verified TDL was brought to the PPA on 14 occasions for restrictive tendering approvals.
This sort of contracts are approved by the PPA, of which Adjenim Boateng Adjei (AB Adjei) is the CEO.
The Basic Supervisor of TDL explained the firm had hyperlinks “at the top” so Manasseh Azure Awuni went digging into those guiding the corporation. A research at the Registrar General’s Section revealed that the two administrators of the business are Adjenim Adjei and Francis Arhin.
Of the two administrators and shareholders of TDL, one of them pointed to the CEO of the PPA, Adjenim Boateng Adjei. The one of a kind spellings of his “Adjenim” and Adjei are the same as all those contained in the registration document.
But his official identify, as found in files he indications, is not Adjenim Adjei. He is Adjenim Boateng Adjei, but he works by using AB Adjei in official paperwork, including approval letters at the PPA.
But there are more clues. Two of the providers of the TDL Group, Frosty Ice Normal Mineral H2o and ABM Logistics Ghana Confined have two shareholders and directors particularly Mercy Adjei and Adjenim Adjei. The Tax Identification Variety (TIN) of the Adjenim Adjei made use of to sign up the Expertise Discovery Team is the exact Tax Identification Variety utilised by the Adjenim Adjei in the firms he jointly owns with Mercy Adjei.
The deal with of Frosty Ice, a member of the TDL Group, is a road in Airport Hills, and that is where by the PPA manager, Adjenim Boateng Adjei life. My investigation also disclosed that the wife of the PPA CEO is called Mercy Adjei, so it was hugely possible that the Adjenim Adjei of the TDL Group was the identical as the Adjenim Boateng Adjei of the Public Procurement Authority.
Further investigation unveiled a lot more clues that prompt that the head of the public procurement authority was the identical individual who owned the corporation engaged in providing authorities contracts. In March 2018, there was a funeral in Aburi and the 3 shareholders in the TDL Group of Corporations and the CEO of the Community Procurement Authority all highlighted in the funeral invitation.
The invitation named AB Adjei CEO of the Public Procurement Authority as a brother of the deceased. It also named Francis Arhin (CEO of Talent Discovery) and Mrs Mercy Adjei as in-legislation of the deceased. With this and other dossiers of evidence, Manasseh Azure Awuni confronted Adjenim Boateng Adjei with the inescapable dilemma:
“Mr AB Adjei, do you know about the company termed Expertise Discovery Constrained?”
When Manasseh requested AB Adjei to name his cousin who he claimed owned the firm, he mentioned he would not disclose it.
He later on mentioned his brother-in-regulation owned it when Manasseh pushed even further.
“What’s his name?” Manasseh requested.
“I won’t disclose it,” AB Adjei reported.
“He’s Francis Arhin,” stated Manasseh.
“Yes” AB Adjei agreed.
Manasseh then pointed out to AB Adjei that his name was on the registration of the enterprise, as a majority shareholder.
“I’m not a greater part shareholder. I’m a director,” he reported.
“A director and 60% shareholding,” Manasseh pointed out.
“It’s not 60%. It’s 50/50,” AB Adjei explained.
“Who is the second shareholder?” Manasseh quizzed.
“We are two, two of us.”
“So you own the corporation?”
“I individual shares in it,” AB Adjei said.
From a cousin to a brother-in-law the PPA manager admitted he was a shareholder and director of TDL.
AB Adjei said while Talent Discovery Confined experienced been introduced to the PPA 1 quite a few occasions for acceptance he was not in conflict of interest. For the reason that he disclosed to the board. He promised to give board minutes in which the disclosure was captured.
Manasseh wrote to AB Adjei for the board minutes he promised to give me the 7 days soon after my interview with him. In a response signed by the Board Secretary and Lawful Director of the PPA, the PPA declined to give the board minutes stating these kinds of paperwork are private. The PPA board, on the other hand, explained AB Adjei disclosed his curiosity in Expertise Discovery Minimal in when the firm was shortlisted for a agreement by Ministry of Internal Cities and Zongo Progress. The Board also explained AB Adjei later recused himself from conversations on 14 other instances when Talent Discovery Confined was shortlisted for authorities contracts.
Disclosure to the board may possibly, nevertheless, not remedy the PPA CEO of conflict of interest mainly because of his very own explanation of the process. When requests are created to the PPA, the PPA CEO and his group carry out because of diligence on the businesses and contracts ahead of recommending to the committee of the board to both approve or reject.
So why does TDL provide contracts as a substitute of executing them? Thomas Amoah mentioned TDL experienced agreement to clear items for Cocobod and Ghana Drinking water Organization Confined. These contracts needed pre-funding so the proceeds from offering the contracts were being employed to execute these contracts.
Checks with the Ghana Drinking water Firm and Cocobod unveiled that, in truth, TDL is performing business with them as a clearing agent.
Following the undercover engagement with the Standard Manager of Talent Discovery Minimal, Manasseh wrote to the corporation for a reaction indicating the content material of the mystery filming. Lawyers of the organization responded on behalf of the enterprise denies any wrongdoing. The lawyers said the organization did not sanction the motion of the Typical Manager and that he acted on his individual.
They claimed disciplinary measures had presently been initiated in opposition to him, starting with a question and a suspension whilst an investigation into his perform proceeds. In a response to the query, which legal professionals of the organization hooked up to the company’s response to us, the Typical Supervisor mentioned he acted on his own and did not have the authorization of his employer. He also said in the reaction that he demanded and gained ¢15,000 from my undercover agent and issued receipt utilizing the letterhead of the corporation. He stated:
“So I requested him if he is without a doubt severe for us to progress he must pay back a commitment cost of ¢15,000 and so he paid ¢5000 on one situation. On an additional situation, he arrived to the office to see me for a duplicate of the agreement and designed an additional payment of ¢10,000.”
Even nevertheless the firm mentioned it did not sanction the General Manager’s carry out, he did not show up to cover the trade-in contracts. He conferred with the secretary a amount of times on the sale and payment of deposits. He is also the a person whose signatures are on the contracts, which the enterprise signed with the ministries departments and organizations, the contracts he was selling.
Aside from the problem of conflict of curiosity, participation in federal government contracts by providers owned by PPA officials can develop unfair opposition even if they declare their desire. This is due to the fact when federal government entities send out shortlisted businesses to the PPA for Restrictive tendering acceptance, they normally include the contract sum, which is unidentified to the corporations shortlisted.
A PPA formal whose corporation is included in the bidding procedures can give details to greatly enhance its tender and this could raise suspicion, specifically when the bidding is so shut to the sum budged by the awarding entity. For occasion, in the Santa Maria task, the Is effective and Housing Ministry earmarked ¢2 million for the project. Expertise Discovery Limited received the bid with ¢1,999,600.45, nearly as particularly as the quantity.
The attorneys for TDL say he was a director and promoter of the corporation but has since resigned. The date of his resignation has not been supplied, but this corporation was shaped soon after he was appointed CEO of the PPA in 2017. In April 2018, data at the Registrar Basic indicated he was still a shareholder and director. When Manasseh interviewed him this month, he claimed he was a director and shareholder of the corporation.
Adjenim Boateng Adjei is one of the foremost procurement personalities in Ghana. When PPA was established up in 2005, he was the 1st CEO. He was reappointed in 2017 and entrusted with the authority of the point out to lead the PPA curb procurement irregularities these types of as the sale of contracts and other procurement frauds. Virtually all the contracts Expertise Discovery Limited gained were by means of restrictive tendering. This suggests when TDL is associated in these contracts, the gentleman the greater part shareholder and director of the company is the similar guy who supervises owing diligence on the company. He may be honest, but when a referee is also a player, his fairness may perhaps not be appreciated by the other gamers.