The Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education says it does not owe African Automobile Limited (AAL) in respect of 23 vehicles supplied to the division in 2001.
At the sitting of the Commission on Judgement Debts yesterday, the acting Director of the division, Mr Charles Darlington Afari, said the ministry had fulfilled all financial obligations, amounting to 44,895,980 Japanese yen, to the company.
The commission, which began its sittings last year, is investigating a number of default judgement debts for the supply of vehicles to some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by the AAL between 1995 and 2008.
According to the 2011 Auditor-General�s Report, the AAL was paid a judgement debt of GH�4,159,010.38 Mr Afari said the ministry had procured 23 vehicles � 22 Mitsubishi pick-ups and one Mitsubishi Pajero � under a contract to pay in two instalments.
Subsequently, after the delivery of the vehicles, the ministry paid 38,335,980 yen as the first instalment and followed it up with the remaining 6,560,000 yen on September 25, 2002.
He said there was no written agreement covering the servicing of vehicles supplied to the division, but added that the contract between the two parties stipulated that the AAL would do all repair works during the warranty period at no cost to the ministry.
He said after the warranty period, the division sent vehicles to the company for servicing and paid for all repair works as and when vehicles were sent there.
�Our records show that we paid for all the servicing. We don�t owe Africa Automobile any money,� he said, and handed over details of the contract to the commission.
Mr Afari said he had not seen or heard about any suit against the ministry for which the AAL had won a default judgement in respect of the supply and servicing of vehicles.
When the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, took his turn, he said records at the commission did not show that it owed the AAL.
He said the records showed that the commission had paid for two vehicles � a Mitsubishi Galant and a Mitsubishi Pajero � by August, 1997.
He said the NDPC had settled its 8.5 million old cedis debt to the AAL. Mr Asiamah stated that there were also no record of any legal action taken against the commission by the AAL to recover any debt.
When Mr Ebenezer Nii Ansah-Adjaye, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, had his turn to speak on the same issue, he said the ministry had no records showing the purchase of any vehicle from the AAL.
�The ministry has not received any vehicle from the Ministry of Finance. The ministry, from practice, purchases its own vehicles,� he said.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Professor Bruce Kofi Banoeng-Yakubo, asked for three weeks to delve deeper into the ministry�s records which were now with the National Archives.
He said a search so far had not revealed any evidence showing that the ministry had entered into any contract with the AAL for the supply of vehicles and service charges between 1995 and 2008.
He said staff of the ministry had informed him that the last time there was any form of transaction involving the ministry and the AAL was in 1989, when the World Bank supported the ministry to buy some cars.
He, however, said he was yet to see proof of the transaction.
Prof Banoeng-Yakubo appealed to the commission to give the ministry three weeks to go through its documents at the National Archives, a request the Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau, granted.
Justice Apau expressed strong reservation about the poor nature of record-keeping at the various MDAs.
�Record-keeping at the ministries is very very poor. They are not able to provide anything. It is either those who were in charge when those transactions took place are dead or they have been transferred. This is at a time we tell ourselves that we are in the ICT age,� he said.
He, however, commended Mr Afari and the NFED of the Ministry of Education for their meticulous record-keeping and for supplying documents needed by the commission.
Officials of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing failed to appear before the commission.
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