The Presidency has given a chronology of amounts of money made available to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) during the tenure of Martin Amidu.
According to the Presidency, despite doing everything humanly possible to make available the required resources for the smooth operation of the OSP, Mr Amidu could not recruit the staff he so desired to get work started.
Thus, the Presidency has stated that he (Mr Amidu) cannot lay at the doorstep of Government, the failure of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to recruit staff.
According to the Presidency, in the 2019 financial year, clearance was given to the OSP to recruit some 249 staff.
Mr Amidu, it would be recalled, on Monday, November 16, 2020, tendered in his resignation in a letter addressed to Mr Akufo-Addo.
In the letter, Mr Amidu, among other things, complained about how he did not get the desired logistical and personnel support to effectively carry out his official duty.
But the President, through his Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante, has responded to each of the claims made against him by the Mr Amidu.
In a letter addressed to Mr Amidu and signed by Mr Asante, the Presidency gave detailed timelines of the funds that were made available by the Government of Ghana to the OSP to ensure its smooth operation.
The Presidency recounted that in 2018, an amount of Ghc 1 million was released to the OSP to enable it undertake set-up activities.
It added that “In June 2018, your (Amidu’s) Office requested and was granted Commencement Authorization to incur capital expenditure of Ghc 2,790,000.00. You failed to make a request for payment in respect of the related procurement.”
It added that in 2019, “your Office submitted a budget proposal of Ghc 360 million out of which Ghc 180,160,225 was approved and appropriated for the Office.”
According to the Presidency, “this amount (Ghc 180,160,225) was higher than the budget of some ministries in the current government, and was made up of Ghc 33,47million for compensation of employees, Ghc 88.01 million for goods and services and Ghc 58.68 million for capital expenditure.”
It added that although the OSP did not apply for release of funds for 2019, the Ministry of Finance released Ghc 65.69 million and transferred it into the bank account of the OSP for Amidu’s operations.
According to the Presidency, out of that amount, only a little of over Ghc 5.22 million had been used by Mr Amidu as head of the OSP.
The Presidency said the unutilised amount of over Ghc 60.47 should have been returned to the Consolidated Fund as it happens to all ministries, departments and agencies which do not utilize their budget.
However, it noted that, in the case of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Ministry of Finance rolled over the excess amount of over Ghc 60.47 million to the following year to be utilized by it (OSP).
“Yet, the funds still remain in the bank account of the Office as at 12 November, 2020,” the Presidency said.
It added that in 2020, the approved budget for the OSP was Ghc 188.084.732.00 out of which Ghc 39,325,597.17 has so far been released, consisting of Ghc 36,232,522.00 for compensation of employees, saying “curiously, your (Amidu’s) Office has not accessed the amount on GIFMIS, the Government’s payments platform.
By Melvin Tarlue
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