The Electricity Company of Ghana’s Ashanti Strategic Business Unit has lost three official pickups to thieves, the 2021 report of the Auditor-General has revealed.
Paragraph 5.18(i) of ECG’s transport policy guidelines states that all accidents and incidents (theft, fire, and other disasters) involving ECG vehicles and a third-party, must be promptly reported to the police and the District Manager/Traffic Officer by the driver or person responsible for the vehicle within 12 hours.
Also, sub-paragraph (iii) states that the General Manager/Region shall constitute a committee of enquiry (COE) within five (5) days with a representative from Head Office as Chairman.
Furthermore, sub-paragraph (viii) states All Committee of Enquiries (COEs) report on Vehicle accident shall be submitted to DHR two (2) calendar months and copy the D/Material & Transport.
However, the audit team said: “Our follow up on our previous audit on stolen official vehicle (Ford Ranger pickup) with registration Number GV 19-16 disclosed that two (2) more vehicles, GW3624-18 and GN6300-18, have been snatched away from officers during the year 2020, resulting in Ashanti SBU losing a total of 3 pickups with a total value/cost of GH¢516,799.22 between June 2018 and May 2020”.
The audit team said it was not furnished with reports from either a committee of enquiry or from the police to establish the circumstances that led to the robberies.
It noted that the Manager in charge of Materials and Transport explained that the issue has been reported to the headquarters in Accra and they were awaiting the results or outcome.
The report said: “The delay on the part of the management to take steps to ensure that these thefts are promptly investigated to establish the circumstances and the culprits behind them, may subject all the other new vehicles, particularly the pickups, to a similar risk, leading to the ECG losing more vehicles in the near future.”
“We urged the management, as a matter of urgency, to furnish the audit team with the available reports on the issue, be they preliminary or final, for our study.”
Meanwhile, the audit team said, “we advised the management to consult the appropriate experts to install tracking devices on the company’s new vehicles”.
The management explained that three different committees were set up to investigate each of the 3 cases of stolen vehicles and they have submitted their reports to management.
“Following the reports submitted, one staff has been dismissed while the other two reports are receiving attention; and actions would be taken thereafter”, the management added.
Also, the management noted that a contract for the supply and installation of “an automated fleet management system has been awarded” and “tracking devices have been installed on 48 vehicles in the Ashanti SBU region on a pilot basis”.
The management said it hoped “to install tracking devices on all” its vehicles by the end of November 2021.