Gov’t chases RLG for GHc6.3m laptop cash

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The Minister of Environment, Science, and Technology, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has said his outfit is taking steps to retrieve an amount of GHc6.3 million from RLG Communications Limited after the company failed to produce 12,733 laptops for the state.

RLG in 2010 won a contract from the government to procure 103,181 laptops for the state and was paid GHc51, 257,500 to that effect.

But documents from the Auditor General’s Department suggests that only 90,448 laptops were provided by RLG.

“In line with the policy of promoting indigenous Ghanaian businesses, the Ministry entered into an agreement with RLG communications Ltd. to produce and distribute 103,181 pieces of laptops at a total cost of GHc51, 257,500.00. Out of the 103,181 pieces to be produced by RLG Communications Ltd, 90,448 were produced and distributed, leaving a balance of 12,733 pieces, worth GHc6, 366,875.00.”

According to the Auditor General’s report, when RLG was asked why the remaining laptops were not produced, the company said: “no request was made by the Ministry to produce and distribute the remaining laptops, hence the number of outstanding laptops.”

Meanwhile, taking his turn at the sittings of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Friday, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said RLG promised to ensure the refund of the money by RLG.

Although the Minister said the promise was “not in a written form” he said he has the assurance that “they [RLG] were prepared [to refund the money] but then we did not agree on the formula.”

“We want [an] outright payment… Ideally, this amount should be paid with interest, but then there were going to pay the original amount without interest over a period of months or over a year, and we were not sure whether they will keep their promise because they failed the Ministry many times in the past.”

On the way forward in retrieving the amount, the Minister said his outfit will officially write a letter to RLG requesting for specification.

“The way forward as I had said, suggested that we write to them about the specifications, that should be a good start and we will communicate the response to the committee,” he told the Public Accounts Committee.

Source: Godwin A. Allotey & Duke M. Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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