General News of Friday, 7 October 2016
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has reacted to media reports that it spent $504,000 on gold watches for its staff as end of service benefit.
According to the media reports, the BoG spent $504,000 which is equivalent to GH¢2 million to purchase “24 pieces of 18-carat ladies’ gold watches and 48 pieces of gents gold watches, with each going for almost $7,000.’’
The reports indicated that the acquisition of the expensive gold watches did not go through any tender.
A statement signed by the bank’s Director of Communication, Mr Bernard Otabil, said the Central Bank did not go against the procurement laws of the country during the procurement of the watches.
“No procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval. PPA is an independent public institution whose work cannot be influenced by the bank or any other institution,’’ it said.
According to the statement, the procurement of the watches was part of the conditions of service of staff of the bank and “a long tradition”?meant “ to boost staff morale and commitment to the goals and ideals of the institution’’.
It stated that the watches were for deserving staff of the institution who had served for a minium of 30 years and were due for retirement.
“The award scheme has been the convention of the bank since the 1970s. In the year 2012, the bank decided to procure the gold watches once every two years (i.e. 2012/13 etc.) in order to control cost and make savings on foreign exchange, ‘’ it said.
The statement further explained that the “procurement process for the period 2016/2017 commenced in January 2016 before the appointment of Dr Abdul Nashiru Issahaku as Governor.’’
“At all times, the bank abides by good governance principles that ensure a robust and effective internal control systems and processes,’’ it explained.