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General News
Hot exchanges in Parliament Over Golden Jubilee Cash 3/1/2007
THERE were hot exchanges among Members of Parliament Select Committee on Finance as Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, appeared before the Committee yesterday to give account of the 20 million dollars approved by Parliament for the Golden Jubilee anniversary celebration.

A source close to the Committee said the Chairman could not control the proceedings "as some members scuffled the meeting. They wanted nothing to be achieved; they were not behaving like MPs."

The source said Mr Mpiani could not furnish the committee with details of expenditure of the money approved by the House.

Some members were reported to have questioned the authorrity of Dr Charles Wereko Brobby as Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana @50 Secretariat and requested to see a copy of his appointment letter. However, the source said Mr Mpianim was unable to produce the appointment letter of the CEO.

"On our request for the expenditure returns, he only gave us a breakdown of what was approved but never gave us any figure of what was spent," the source said.

The source, however, said Mr Mpiani told the committee that 4.9 million dollars was used for renovation of the Independence Arch and Square and the Liberation Square, while 5.9 million dollars was used in importing vehicles for the celebration made up of 50 BMW cars, 50 Mercedes Benz, 50 Chrysler, 50 Peugeot cars, 25 buses and 30 Jaguar cars.

Mr Mpiani added that 7.8 million dollars was earmarked for infrastructure development and rehabilitation but could not give a detailed breakdown of the expenditure.

An amount of 1.4 million dollars was used for secretarial duties, publicity and administration.

Mr Mpiani also reportedly informed the committee that local donor support and pledges to the secretariat amounted to ¢38 billion out of which ¢22 billion has so far been received.

An amount of ¢150 million has been released to the Regional Co-ordinating Councils, while ¢100 million has gone to the District Assemblies.

As to why Dr Wereko Brobby was not present, the source said Mr Mpiani replied that Dr Wereko Brobby was working under him and for that matter, he (Mpiani) could respond to all questions.

The source said the committee asked Mr Mpiani to furnish it with the breakdown of the programmes of activities as required by the Accountant-General’s Department standard.

Last Wednesday, the Finance Committee summoned Dr Wereko Brobby to appear before it, but he failed to show up.

Mr Mpiani later told the Joy FM newsfile on Saturday that he asked Dr Wereko-Brobby to write back to the committee to redirect the request to him since he was the sector Minister and Dr Wereko Brobby worked under him.

MPs, especially the Minority group said the action of Dr Wereko Brobby was contemptuous of Parliament which had powers to summon public officers to appear before it.

Source:
Times

 
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