The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has officially commenced a preliminary investigation into the contractual arrangements between Strategic Mobilization Ghana Limited (SML) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). This move comes in response to a complaint filed on December 18, 2023, by The Fourth Estate, a project of the Media Foundation for West Africa, represented by journalists Evans Aziamor-Mensah, Adwoa Adobea-Owusu, and Manasseh Azure Awuni.
The OSP, as disclosed in its half-yearly report released on December 29, 2023, stated that the investigation is centred around possible corruption and potential breaches of the Public Procurement Act related to the contractual arrangements between SML and GRA. The complaint alleged irregularities in the 10-year contract awarded to SML, which reportedly accrues $100 million annually, and raised concerns about underhand dealings.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor emphasized its commitment to investigating matters within its mandate and policy, aiming to protect the privacy of individuals and the business operations of institutions and companies.
Background: The Fourth Estate's investigative report released in December 2023 implicated SML, GRA, and the Ministry of Finance in alleged irregularities. The report claimed that SML had been awarded a 10-year contract, contrary to SML's assertion of a 5-year contract. SML also denied the reported $100 million annual revenue from the contract.
In response, the GRA maintained that the procurement processes were appropriately followed in securing the services of SML. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo subsequently directed SML to suspend its ongoing revenue assurance operations, ordering an immediate audit by the firm KPMG into the contract with GRA and the Ministry of Finance.
SML, in a statement, welcomed the audit, expressing confidence that it would establish a clear and accurate understanding of its operations. The outcome of the ongoing investigation and audit will be closely watched for its potential impact on the SML-GRA contract controversy.