Ghana: Review Services Rendered Partially By SML - KPMG

KPMG, the audit firm contracted to audit the transaction between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML), has called for a comprehensive review of services rendered partially by the SML to the GRA to assess its relevance.

According to KPMG, there was an urgent need to either amend or reassess the services before continuing since there could be a duplication of external price databases and research services offered by SML due to the integration of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).

The call was contained in the full report released to the public by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday.

President Akufo-Addo commissioned the KPMG to audit the contract which was entered into by the GRA and the SML on January 2, 2024, with an initial deadline of January 16, 2024. However, the deadline was extended to March 2024.

The report also recommended that ICUMS capabilities for external price verification should be reassessed in view of the services provided by SML to optimise efficiency and adapt to evolving business dynamics.

In addition, KPMG noted that SML, having provided services for four year, had gained the necessary experience and had become more proficient, adding, "Based on this, we recommend renegotiating contract prices, including consideration of shifting from a variable to a fixed fee structure."

Furthermore the report said conducting needs assessment as part of the procurement process was important for aligning pro

curement activities with organisational needs, optimising resource allocation, mitigating risks, and fostering stakeholder engagement and accountability.

To this end, it recommended that needs assessment must be incorporated into public procurement practice for a covered entities in Ghana even though there was no legal requirement to perform a needs assessment for procurement of other goods and services with substantial value.

This, it said, was necessary because satisfying the procurement processes without conducting a needs assessment may expose the State to misallocation of public funds and the erosion of public trust in the government's ability to manage resources effectively.

It explained that the process of performing needs assessment should include, but not limited to consultation with relevant stakeholders to ascertain the gaps between their current state and desired outcome; discussion of the needs and expectations to address the gaps identified; facilitation of information-sharing to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have access to relevant information to promote inclusiveness and collaboration.

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