Note the following from the attached pictures:
1. 6th August 2015 – Ministry of Transport issued the Payment Voucher, which showed that Smarttys was to be paid from the “Consolidated-Annual Budget Funding Amount- ABFA.” Those specific funds had been allocated to the “Ghana Railway Development Authority” for “Railway Infrastructure Development,” specifically for “Construction-Western Corridor Rail Project activities;”
3. 13th August 2015 – Controller and Accountant General wrote to the Bank of Ghana to authorise the transfer of the money to pay Smarttys from a Ministry of Transport Sub-Account into a “Special Operations Account” for the purpose of the payment.
What is wrong with these? Follow us:
First, watch the dates: the SWIFT transfer of the funds to Smarttys appears to have been done BEFORE the Accountant General authorised transfer of funds for the purpose of the payment. How was that possible?
Second, and even more seriously, according to section 61 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815), the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is monies taken from our petroleum revenue for spending as part of the budget. By section 19, the ABFA is transferred into the Consolidated Fund, and under section 21, the ABFA is considered part of the nation budget, and its use and expenditure are subject to the same budgetary processes laid down by law to ensure efficient allocation, responsible use, and effective monitoring of expenditure. Thus the primary budgetary process, laid down by Article 178 of the Constitution, applies to the ABFA. That article expressly forbids withdrawing money from the Consolidated Fund, except for expenditure charged on that Fund by the Constitution or authorised by Parliament. Public funds, not in the Consolidated or Contingency Fund, can only be withdrawn as “authorised by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.” We are certain that the Smarttys transaction had no Article 178 parliamentary authorisation.
What these mean is that our oil monies from the ABFA and allocated by Parliament for the Western Corridor railway project could not be simply reversed, withdrawn and used to pay Smarttys without parliamentary approval.
Third, if, as suggested by the documents, the budgeted funds not been simply earmarked for the railway infrastructure development project, but had already been placed in the account of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (a body established by law with a board of directors and as a corporate entity with perpetual succession) those monies could not have been simply transferred by the collaborative action of the Ministry for Transport, Accountant General and the Bank of Ghana, without the approval of the board of the Ghana Railway Development Authority. If this is the case, we are yet to see such an approval.
Why would critical gatekeepers of our monies engage in such blatant breaches of the Constitution and the law, simply to pay Smarttys for putting the images of the president and his predecessors on buses?