The Bank of Ghana has justified a decision to spend about Gh¢2 million on gold watches for retiring staff.
According to the bank, 72 staff who have served for 30 years and above and were due for retirement this year and next year were to benefit as part of their retirement package.
The watches which were being bought from from a Swiss Watch Company, comprises 25 18 karat Ladies gold watches and 48 kt Gents ones.
Some documents sighted in some media reports indicated that on July 22, 2016, the central bank sent a request to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to sole source the procurement of gold watches from a Swiss watch company.
The request letter indicated that the BoG intended to use part of its 2016 budgetary allocation to fund the procurement of 24 units of 18 carat ladies gold watches and 48 units of gents gold watches; all Tissot Gold Watches from a dealer.
It explained that the procurement of the watches begun in 2012 when the Bank decided to procure the gold watches once every two years (i.e. 2012/13 etc.) in order to control cost and make savings on foreign exchange.
The watches are meant for deserving members of staff who have served a minimum of 30 years and are due for statutory retirement from the Bank, the statement also explained.
Read below a copy of a statement issued by the BoG on the matter
RE: ‘BoG GOVERNOR BLOWS US$504,000 ON GOLD WATCHES’
Reports casting slur on the implementation of the end of service benefits of some deserving members of staff of the Bank have come with grave concerns.
The Bank of Ghana wishes to state, among others, that:
1. End of service benefits, as part of the conditions of service for staff, is a longstanding tradition of the Bank, an obligation the Bank has always fulfilled to boost staff morale and commitment to the goals and ideals of the institution. The award scheme has been the convention of the Bank since the 1970s.
2. In the year 2012, the Bank decided to procure the gold watches once every two years
(i.e. 2012/13 etc.) in order to control cost and make savings on foreign exchange.
3. Deserving members of staff should have served a minimum of 30 years and are due for statutory retirement from the Bank.
4. The procurement process for the period 2016/2017 commenced in January 2016, before the appointment of the current Governor.
5. No procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the
Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval.
6. PPA is an independent public institution whose work cannot be influenced by the Bank or any other institution.
7. At all times, the Bank abides by good governance principles that ensure a robust and effective internal control systems and processes.