Thursday, May 28, 2009

Secretary-General of Red Cross Shamefully Confesses:

*And Blows A Further ¢116.2m On One Meeting

How blatant can Mr Andrews Frimpong, Secretary-General of the Ghana Red Cross Society be?He has admitted that he gave a catering contract amounting to million cedis to his wife.Mrs Georgina Frimpong was the beneficiary of a catering contract offered by the Red Cross for participants at a consultative meeting in Bosomtwe.Mr Andrews Frimpong, who appeared before a committee investigating alleged irregularities at the Ghana Red Cross admitted that the caterer for the meeting was his wife.He however said the amount charged was within budget for the 2007 consultative meeting which cost a whopping ¢116.2 million. A three-member committee from the Internal Audit Service described the Secretary-General's action as “a clear case of conflict of interest.” It was gathered that procurement procedures, which were well within the knowledge of Mr Andrews Frimpong were thrown to the dogs, confirming allegations of bad governance and leadership at the headquarters of the Ghana Red Cross.Mr Ernest Aikens, Assistant Auditor General, who was the chairperson of the committee was also unhappy with receipts from Twum Barimah Hotel for accommodation and meals which “seem to have been tampered with.”Again, the receipts did not include Value Added Tax and the committee cautioned against the acceptance of receipts of that kind in the future.The consultative meeting in Bosumtwi was to launch a project dubbed “3-in-1.”The project was aimed at equipping Red Cross personnel with information as they carry out educational programmes on health, safety and general societal living in the rural areas.Some disgruntled members said, though Lake Bosomtwe had several hotels, meals were cooked from Kumasi and transported with the Society's vehicle.They said this was not a cost-effective approach.Due to the long distance the food had to travel, meals served were cold and this attracted the indignation of participants.At that workshop, the Secretary-General single-handedly spent 60 million cedis to print a training manual, once again neglecting the procedures of procurement.The manuals for which Mr Andrews Frimpong claimed authorship were full of errors.Members of the management team of the Red Cross said had he discussed this with them, no error would have occurred.The same was the case of the organization of the whole meeting as the Secretary-General did not involve members of the management team. The Ghana Red Cross Society receives donor funding and government subvention to support its activities.For two months, workers nationwide have not been paid. Officials say the relief agency is cash-strapped but this paper will in subsequent editions dig more on bad leadership and rot at the headquarters. Stay tuned.
Source:By Livingstone Pay Charlie, News Editor, The Insight

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