….Ofori-Atta’s Man Dropped

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ken Ofori-Atta, is set to inaugurate various governing boards including that of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) today Tuesday August 10, 2021.

The others are the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Exim Bank except the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) board which will be inaugurated later.

Interestingly, while all the aforementioned boards have duly been reconstituted for today’s ceremony, same cannot be said about the GRA. Yet, the GRA board is going to be inaugurated regardless without a representative from the Finance Ministry.

This is because the new board, to be headed by Dr Oteng Gyasi, has no representative from the Finance Ministry simply because Mr Ofori-Atta, has failed to assign a representative to complete the board’s list.

The GRA board constitute of a board chair appointed by the President then representatives from the Ministry of Trade, Bank of Ghana (BoG), Finance Ministry, Commissioner General of the GRA and the rest from the private sector nominated by the President.

According to DAYBREAK’S insider information, the Minister had earlier chosen one Ernest Akore who happens to be his technical advisor, as the ministry’s representative.

However, Mr Akore who used to work at Data Bank (a financial institution belonging to the Minister) was rejected by the Council of State who are mandated by law to be consulted, because he was not a director at the ministry neither was he a deputy minister.

Per the law, it is a director or a deputy minister that can represent the Ministry at the GRA board.

Now the Ministry, has at least a chief director and two deputy ministers, yet the minister appears unwilling to put any of them on the board for unnamed reason.

It is unclear what the issue is aside as Mr Akore and minister being working as partners.

The Minister who appears bent on having Mr Akore on the board had earlier claimed that his technical advisor was rather a Director of Tax at the Ministry when he presented the board members’ list to the Council of State.

According to sources, the position of a Technical Advisor is not a line authority and, therefore, technically does not qualify a person to be on the GRA Board.

But when his letter of appointment from the Public Services Commission (PSC) was demanded by the Council, they could not produce the said letter because obviously he was appointed by the Minister and not the Commission as mandated by law.

Against the law, it would be recalled that sometime in 2019, Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Agyemang Kwarteng and Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Deputy Trade and Industry, were removed from their position as board members of the GRA.

This was communicated to them by the then board chairman, Professor Stephen Adei.

At that time, Professor Adei said he was sacking the two politicians from the board to make way for the Chief Directors of the Ministries they represent to be on the board.

Strangely, instead of the two Chief Directors being on the Board, it was only the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry who went on the Board, with a former Databank employee and now Technical Advisor to the Finance Minister, Mr. Ernest Akore, as the representative of the Finance Ministry.

The Minister again appointed Mr Akore to the Exim Bank board against the law.

During the vetting of Mt Ofori-Atta by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mr Akore’s presence on the GRA board came up and it was obvious from the way Mr. Ofori-Atta struggled that there was an unethical bypassing of the regulations, without respect for the law.

Ken Ofori-Atta told the vetting committee that he would fix the problem; but that was a fat lie as he nominated Ernest Akore again to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board as a Representative – Ministry of Finance.

According to Section 4 of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791), the Governing body of the Authority consists of;

(a) a Chairperson.

(b) the Commissioner-General of the Authority,

(c) a representative of the Ministry not below the rank of a Director,

(d) a representative of the Ministry of Trade and Industry not below the rank of a Director,

(e) the Governor of the Bank of Ghana or a representative of the Governor not below the rank of a Deputy-Governor, and

(f) four other persons from the private sector two of whom are women…

(2) The President shall appoint the Chairperson and members of the Board in accordance with Article 70 of the Constitution.