Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee James Klutse Avedzi has warned the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority Rev.  Ammishadai Owusu-Amoah that he will personally be held liable for working without renewal of his contract.

Rev. Ammishadai shocked the public by refusing to answer a question from Ningo-Prampram MP and a member of the Public Accounts Committee Samuel Nartey George about his age.

The GRA boss in the company of deputy Finance Minister Mrs. Abena Osei Asare struggled to give a straight answer.

After back and forth from some members in an attempt to get the chairman of the committee James Klutse Avedzi to dismiss the question, Rev. Ammishadai eventually disclosed his two year contract given to him after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 had expired without renewal.

In an interview with EIB Network‘s Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan, Chairman of the committee James Klutse Avedzi warned the GRA boss will find himself wanting if he continues to stay in office without a contract.

The Ketu North MP justified his decision to admit the public interest question from the Ningo-Prampram MP.

“No we don’t have it. He hasn’t given us the contract. He told us at the committee when the issue came up and other members were trying to stop the member who asked the question or arguing the question should not be allowed, I said the question should be answered because the person is a public officer. Once you’re a public officer there is nothing personal especially about your age.”

According to Mr. Avedzi individuals above retirement age can be engaged but not beyond 5 years and thus the decision to engage the GRA boss is not illegal.

 “The law says if you are above a certain age you go on retirement but if your expertise is needed you can be given a contract. So if I’m above 60 years and I’m given a contract, I’m covered. I said, why can’t you tell us your age, why can’t you tell us that you have a contract? So, go ahead and answer the question. And he said that oh, I am 62 and so so and so months. I have a contract.  The law says that when you’re 60 years and you’re given a contract, you can be given a two year contract that can be renewed for another two years but all put together must not be more than five years. That’s what the law says.”

Mr. Avedzi wondered why the Commissioner General had not been given another contract after the expiration of the earlier one.

 “So if you’re 62 and you have a contract you’re covered. If you’re 63, you have a contract and that contract is renewed, you’re covered. But he told us that the renewal of his contract has not been done as at the time we were asking him the questions.”

The former deputy minority leader however did not fault the GRA boss for his inability to explain why his contract had not been renewed. According to him, the matter rests with the appointing authority.

 “He could not tell us the reason why he had not been given a contract. He’s not the one to give himself the contract, it’s the government or the minister. If I were the minister and I still want him to be there I would just renew the contract for him. But if I don’t want him to be there I will not renew it. If he continues to stay there without a contract then he is breaking the law. He will be personally held liable. After the issue has come up and you have still not been given a renewal contract and you’re still there? Then you’re working illegally,” he warned.

Source: Ghana/ Alhassan