The 2017 Auditor-General’s report has uncovered that institutions including the Parliament owe State-owned Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) some millions of Ghana cedis in newspapers procured.
Aside from the legislative arm of government, various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) also owe the company in excess of a million Ghana Cedis.
Ranking Member of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Dr Clement Apaak wondered why an institution like Parliament owed the company despite regular budgetary allocations made for reading materials to settle such expenses by the House.
Responding to the audit queries, Managing Director of GCGL, Benjamin Ato Afful said several attempts to recover the debts have yielded no results.
He however, did not disclose the exact amount owed by Parliament and the MMDAs.
Mr Afful said Parliament in May 2020 paid part of its arrears following an appeal to the Speaker at an event, adding that the company has two recovery agencies in place to recover debts owed it by recalcitrant clients.
He told PAC that his office has approached the Information Minister and their regulator to assist them with follow-ups to recover the debts.
“We consider the state and the state apparatus as critical partners to our information dissemination agenda therefore we will continue to support them but we will also use this medium to plead that, this national asset (GCGL) would only survive when we support it to do so, so we would entreat the House to honour its payments,” he stressed.
Apart from the arrears, the 2017 Auditor General’s report indicated that a total amount of GH¢7,312,674 worth of various newspapers produced had not been sold.