RLG Communications Limited has agreed to repay an amount GH¢6 million to government after it failed to supply 12,733 laptops under the Free Laptop Distribution Programme in 2010.
Though the company has agreed to refund the money both parties are yet settled on the formula for the repayment of the amount.
Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, said this when he appeared before the Public Account Committee (PAC) to respond to some violations contained in the 2015 Auditor General’s Report in relation to his Ministry and the various departments under the Ministry.
The PAC is currently holding public sittings on the Report of the Auditor General for the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ended 31st December, 2015.
The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology in 2010 contracted RLG Communications Limited for GH¢51,257,500.00 to provide and distribute 103,181 pieces of laptops.
However, the company was only able to produce for distribution 90,448, leaving a balance of 12,733 pieces of laptops worth GH¢6,366,875.00.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the money has been outstanding for some years now and an arrangement has been reached with the company for a refund of the amount.
He said since the matter came to his attention he has been engaging officials of RLG to have the money repaid.
He said his Ministry would continue engage RLG Limited to redeem its promise to pay.
In a response to a question from a panel member whether laptops that were procured from RLG were distributed?
Prof Frimpong Boateng stated the Ministry cannot verify whether the laptops that were procured were distributed because the process of the distribution were faulty as there were no structured programmes for the distribution of the laptops.
He said as at now nobody can verify how many of the laptops are still in the system.
He explained that per the prior arrangement contract with the supplier in 2010 the Ministry was to provide the list for distribution whiles RLG Limited would do the sharing.
Prof Frimpong Boateng said the Ministry was only tasked collate the beneficiary list to be submitted to supplier and the company would distribute the laptops from its regional offices.
He said there were challenges with monitoring since beneficiaries, students or schools went straight to the company’s regional offices to pick their laptops without any recourse of the Ministry.
He said the Ministry also did not have proper structures for feedback and as such could not observe how many laptops were distributed.
Mr James Klutse Avedze, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), directed the Minister to formally write to the company and demand the refund and if they fail to do so, the Attorney-General can be contacted to initiate the process of prosecution.