Judges not to blame for buying cheap vehicles
James Klutse Avedzi, MP for NDC Ketu North and Chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, PAC, reacted to the Auditor General’s 2021 report in which some judges were named for buying vehicles that were auctioned off to them at low price.
According to him, the judges who bought cannot be blamed for this because it is the price given by the State Transport Company.
“It depends on the use of this vehicle; before purchasing this vehicle, the vehicle will be taken to the State Transport Company for appraisal. State Transport will appraise the vehicle and then give a base price – below which the car should not not be sold. So if the State Transport Company gives a base price that is low, the officer who bought cannot be blamed for that because that is the price given by the State Transport Company,” James explained. Klutse Avedzi in an interview with Joy News.
When asked that the Auditor General in the 2021 audit report said there was no approval from the Ministry of Finance for the vehicles to be purchased, the NDC MP said:
“This is where we have a problem. Agents who use saloon cars, retiring are offered a vehicle, the price of which is offered to them is determined by the State Transport Company, if these procedures do not have not been followed, we have a problem with what happened with the judiciary and that is why the auditor general reported on it.”
Avedzi in the interview disagreed with claims that judges are unfairly criticized by the general public.
He is of the opinion that, the vehicle in question “being offered to you as a private individual, it is your duty to ensure that the agent acting on your behalf follows the procedure because it comes to you as personal property; you buy it.
“The forensic department doesn’t buy the vehicle for them and send it to them, it’s you; they offer it to you, you have to make sure the state transportation company does the appraisal, and then you pay the money; the money will be paid to the Service Judiciaire, then the Service Judiciaire will then pay the money into the coffers of the State.
The regulations provide that the primary spender of a covered entity must obtain the prior written approval of the Minister for the transfer, exchange, sale, gift, contribution in kind, trust and any other assignment of any vehicle of the covered entity.
Regulation 158 also states that any assignment, lease and other action referred to in Sub-Regulation 1 that is made without the Minister’s written approval is void.
However, the Auditor General’s report indicates that some judges, including recently retired Supreme Court Justices Yaw Appau and Julius Ansah acquired state-owned vehicles contrary to the provisions of this law.
The Auditor General therefore wants to recover the vehicles.