The Fourth Estate requests cost of KPMG audit into SML-GRA Contracts from Presidency

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The Fourth Estate has requested for information from The Presidency on the cost of KPMG’s audit into the revenue assurance contracts between Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The request is contained in a Right to Information request letter dated May 9, 2024.

President Nana Akufo-Addo directed KPMG to audit the GRA/SML deal in January 2024, following The Fourth Estate’s exposé on a contract for revenue assurance in the downstream petroleum sector.

A statement, released by the office of the President in April, said that the KPMG audit, among other findings, revealed that the GRA proceeded to sign the contract with SML without the initial approval of the Public Procurement Authority, contravening the Public Financial Management Act.

 

GRA did not also receive parliamentary approval for contracts signed in 2018, 2019, and 2023 with SML, nor did it receive approval from its Board for these contracts, in contravention of the GRA Act, the statement from The Presidency said.

Consequently, President Akufo-Addo directed the GRA and the Ministry of Finance to renegotiate the downstream revenue assurance contract with SML.

The request for information on the costs of the KPMG audit is the second the Fourth Estate has filed in connection with the audit firm’s work. The first, for the full audit report, was rejected by the Presidency, claiming that “information prepared for or submitted to the President or Vice President containing opinions, advice, deliberations, recommendations, minutes or consultations, is exempt from disclosure”.

Manasseh Azure Awuni, who led the investigation into the relationship between SML and GRA, has questioned the rationale behind the decision.

“What is Akufo-Addo hiding from us?” He asked. “The SML deal stinks. If they think hiding the KPMG report will make us forget the SML scandal, they should think again. The SML scandal will not die.”

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