Panelists Call On Parliament to Stop Approving Contracts on Certificate of Urgency

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-Ghana

Accra, Ghana//-Panelists at a roundtable on ‘Confronting the Challenges of Recurring Judgement Debts and Poor International Public Agreements’ have called on Parliament to stop the practice of approving contracts on certificate of urgency.

The panelists made up of the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Kwesi Prempeh; Coordinator of Third World Network Africa, Dr Yao Graham; Law Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Clara Kasser-Tee; D&D Fellow of CDD-Ghana, Dr Ohene Adu Kwapong; and Senior Partner at AB& David Africa, David Ofosu-Darte, bemoaned the practice of the executive rushing contracts to Parliament at the last meeting to be approved by the Members of Parliament (MPs).

 The roundtable discussion was organized by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) noted that poorly negotiated and managed public agreements, and the recurring cycle of judgement debts against the State have caused huge financial losses.

They cited a comprehensive review by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent social accountability entity, which indicated that Ghana paid a total of GH¢1.9 billion in judgment debts over the last two decades to buttress their argument.

The CSJ’s review of the payments from 2000 to 2019 noted that about GH¢1.4 billion of the judgment debt paid over the period arose from alleged contractual breaches by government and its agencies.

Also GH¢479 million of the judgment debts resulted from compensation on land acquisition by the state, while statutory breaches accounted for GH¢29.9 million.

The study which relied on data from the Sole Commissioner’s Report and the Auditor-General’s Report of 2011 to 2019,  explored trends, patterns, causes and impact of judgment debt payments from the public coffers over the two decades.

African Eye Report