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Saturday, May 25, 2024

GHANA COVID-19 PRIVATE SECTOR FUND (GCPSF) MADE CLARIFICATIONS

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Report by Edward FRIMPONG

www.ghanareaders.com
The Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund as part of its transparent and open organisation whose activities are funded by the public have taken note of the Auditor-General’s management report in reference to the National Covid-19 Trust Fund(NCTF)
In the issuance of a statement signed by Mr.Senyo K. Hosi, as the managing trustee of Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund indicated that there were inaccurate and misleading references to the Covid-19 Private Sector Fund under the audit of the National Covid-19 Trust Fund.
It said in the statement that, Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund (GCPSF) had a healthy cooperation with the National Covid-19 Trust Fund (NCTF) which has ultimately been beneficial to the people of Ghana.
However, the Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund (GCPSF) were grateful and proud to the National Covid-19 Trust Fund (NCTF) of the success attained by the partnership in the provision of public goods.
In paragraph 30 of the Auditor-General’s management letter a statement was  made which gravely concerned Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund (GCPSF).It suggested that the GCPSF could trade with public funds for personal gains while GCPSF were a not-for-profit organisation and do not engage in trading.Neither have GCPSF suggested, acted, nor purported to engage in commercial activities for which the GCPSF, its trustees, officers, assigns or representatives shall or stand to benefit personally.
As is publicly known, the GCPSF operates with very competent structures with reputable partners like KPMG(Fund Accountants), Emst and Young (Fund Auditors), Fidelity Bank and Ecobank (Fund Custodians), Bentsi-Enchill Letsa and Ankomah (Fund Lawyers) and other efficient structures that ensure value for money and compliance.
It clarified in the statement that, NCTF was the largest donor to protect and resource the frontline (PARF) project, donating an exorbitant worth of GHS 10.257 MN for the supply of medical equipment and PPE to major Covid-19 centres and frontliners.The NCTF was also a major donor worth of GHS 6.8mn to GCPSF’s facility 100 project that saw the delivery of Ghana’ s first infectious disease centre.
To ensure value for money, GCPSF undertook a transparent and competitive process with officials from the NCTF who were invited to participate as observers.In the NCTF participation as observers, a procurement report was subsequently submitted to the NCTF for consideration.This was served as the basis for the donation.
In may 2020, GCPSF unanimously entered into a donation agreement with the NCTF to provide funding for the GCPSF to acquire and jointly donated the items listed in the procurement report.The GCPSF duly received the funds and acquired all the authorised items for joint donation and distribution with the NCTF.
It added in the statement that,GCPSF renegotiated some contracts following the failure of some contactors to supply the required items on time or meet GCPSF’s quality standards.These negotiations provided opportunities to extract value and achieved savings of GHS254,203 for the project.This was carefully reported in year 2020 accounts prepared by KPMG and some share with the NCTF.
The statement went further to revealed how GCPSF drew the attention of the NCTF auditors to the savings and notification of the NCTF’s intent to apply the savings towards the acquisition of additional items for Covid-19 centres since the PARF project was still active.
Moreover, in conjunction with officials from Noguchi Medical Research Institute ( Noguchi), indicated that GCPSF commenced a procurement process to provide the GIDC laboratory with relevant equipment for it to be upgraded to a level-3 status comparable to the laboratory at Noguchi.The process just as previous was transparently competitive which respectively commenced in July 2020 and  completed in May 2022 with the amount of the relevant contracts worth GHS 1.33 mn.
To fund the acquisition of the lab equipment, NCTF PARF donation savings of GHS 254,203 was partly applied.
On the 15th of July 2022, GCPSF received a letter from the NCTF requesting a refund of the saving, citing the recommendation of the Auditor-General’s report for the GCPSF to account for the saving or refund it.Prior to the issuance statement, contrary to paragraph 32 of the Auditor-General’s report, GCPSF had never been requested to refund the savings.
Before completing the accounting process for the saving, GCPSF opted to ensure the implementation of the lab upgrade project.As at date, goods worth GHS 557,610 have been delivered with more undergoing clearing at the Tema Port.
NCTF have been notified by GCPSF concerning the application of the GHS 254,203 towards the acquisition of the level-3 lab- required real-time PCR equipment delivered in the past few days.
In GCPSF estimation, the application of the funds in the procurement of this critical equipment for the public good was constructive and believe it effectively addressed the recommendation by the Auditor-General to have GCPSF to account for the funds which were utilised at the time of the audit.The GCPSF have therefore requested the NCTF to reconsider its request for a refund.
In addition, GCPSF have further showed up their willingness and ability to make the payment requested if the NCTF so insists after reconsidering its position in the light of the new information GCPSF have provided.
GCPSF were grateful for the public support in the execution of their projects and assured all of their continuous and unflinching commitment to accountability, transparency, and value for money in all their activities and endeavours.
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