Auditor-General goes after Frances Asiam

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Frances Essiam, CEO GCMCL
·        For paying over GHS 1.6 M without authorization and documentation

The Ghana Audit Service has launched an investigation into an alleged shady deal involving the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) Frances Ewurabena Asiam over a GHS 1.6 Million paid to TDK Atlantic Ltd for construction work without authorization and authentication by approving officers, according to the 53paged management letter on the accounts of GCMC.

‘Our review of the Company’s contract records disclosed that a total amount of GHS1,630,038.83 was paid to TDK Atlantic Ltd, a contractor for construction works undertaken by the company. The Authorizing and the approving Officers, however, did not authenticate these payments with the relevant supporting document such as bill of quantities, Engineers’ report and interim payments certificates. The management letter read.

According to investigations, parts of GHS 1.6 million allegedly ended up in the construction of the CEO’s private residential home.

Apart from payment without authorization and documentations, management of the Company re-awarded a contract for the supply and installations of automatic wielding LPG cylinder from a contract sum of GHS 18,505,359,06 to GHS 26,082,696.36, a variation of 40.84% without authorization and approval from the Central Tenser Review Committee.

According to findings, management of the Company disposed of eighty (80) assorted furniture and fittings in 2017 without forming a Board of Survey to evaluate and present a technical report on them to ensure that the best method of disposal had been adopted. We could also not ascertain any evidence of cash realized from the disposal.

It is saddening when we discovered that the Cylinder manufacturing Company has been unable to raise funds to import raw materials because they owe their main supplier, Ansun Ghana USD1.6m.

This paper reported last year that Frances Asiam produced cylinders and used the sales proceeds to start construction of staff canteen, additional office buildings, factory expansion project without any approval from the Board, no procurement processes were followed, she just brought her own contractor, negotiated the contract sum with him and work commenced.

Our investigations revealed that Ghana Cylinder is owing SSNIT, PAYE to GRA, 2nd Tier, Provident Fund, Ghana Water and ECG.

Ghana Water has disconnected water supply to Ghana Cylinder for more than one year. Our checks from the company’s factory have indicated that the workers go to work and play cards since there are no raw materials to work on.

A top source, speaking in confidence, gave an insight into how the CEO outsmarted the powers that be. He said: “Contractors were appointed by the CEO. But for no justifiable cause.

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