Akufo-Addo accepts KPMG’s advice to halt upstream audit services for GRA by SML

Following a thorough review of KPMG’s audit report, President Akufo-Addo has endorsed the recommendation to discontinue the upstream petroleum and minerals audit services previously provided to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) by Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML).

Notably, these services had not yet commenced, and no payments had been made to SML.

As part of the recommendations after a review of the audit report by KPMG, President Akufo-Addo noted that “The upstream petroleum audit and minerals audit services have not yet been commenced, and no payments have been made in respect of those services; therefore, they may be terminated.”

In a press release on Wednesday, April 24, President Akufo-Addo added “However, given that the upstream petroleum audit and minerals audit services could prevent significant revenue leakages, the President has directed that the Ministry and GRA conduct a comprehensive technical needs assessment, value-for-money assessment, and stakeholder engagements before implementing such services.”

As part of the recommendations, the President added that “the transaction audit and external price verification services may also be terminated. According to KPMG’s findings, GRA obtained partial value or benefit for those services. This was also due to a lack of monitoring on the part of GRA to ensure that SML performed the services as stipulated in the contracts.

“KPMG’s investigation found that GRA has introduced external price verification tools as part of ICUMS, among its other functions. This renders the reliance on SML for external price verification redundant.

However, the President recommended that there is a “clear need for the downstream petroleum audit services provided by SML. GRA and the State have benefited from these services since SML commenced providing them. There has been an increase in volumes of 1.7 billion litres and an increase in tax revenue to the State of GHS 2.45 billion.

“KPMG also observed that there were qualitative benefits, including a 24/7 electronic real-time monitoring of outflow and partial monitoring of inflows of petroleum products at depots where SML had installed flowmeters and six levels of reconciliation done by SML. This minimises the occurrence of under-declarations. However, it is important to review the contract for downstream petroleum audit services, particularly the fee structure. Given the experience and proficiency of SML over the last four years of providing this service, the President has directed that the fee structure be changed from a variable to a fixed fee structure. Other provisions of the contract worth reviewing include clauses on intellectual property rights, termination, and service delivery expectations.

The President added that “SML’s performance in any renegotiated contracts should be monitored and evaluated periodically to ensure that it meets expectations. Any renegotiated contract should be compliant with section 33 of the PFMA.

“The Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority are to give effect to the above directives of the President immediately and provide the Office of the President with an update on the steps taken.”


An investigative report by Fourth Estate, alleged irregularities in a multi-million dollar contract awarded to SML by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Despite the allegations, both the GRA and SML strongly denied any wrongdoing.

In response to the accusations, SML has taken legal action against the Fourth Estate alleging defamation.

Following concerns raised regarding the contract between the GRA and SML, President Akufo-Addo directed KPMG to conduct an audit into the matter.

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