Alarm Blows At GRA Over Secret Recruitment

…Angry Staff Petition Management

The unionized staff of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) are up in arms with the management who, they allege, are embarking on some lawless activities, prominent being a secret recruitment exercise outsourced to the private firm, KPMG.

The Ghana Revenue Authority Workers Union (GRAWU) has vowed it will resist these moves, even if it will take more than strike actions and demonstrations to bring management back on track to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness.

“GRAWU shall not hesitate to explore all available legitimate means available to us but not limited to demonstrations and strikes to resist the current state of affairs to save our beloved Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from sliding and sinking if these issues raised are not addressed with dispatch,” the workers have said.

The staff, in a petition sighted by The Anchor, have tabled a number of concerns to the management, including the recruitment charge, said to be shrouded in secrecy, contrary to Article 195, 196 of the 1992 Constitution.

The petition, addressed to the Commissioner General of the GRA, Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said, “Sir, we wish to state that, this action of recruitment of external persons without first consideration of the contract staff must stop and be reversed. The timing for this exercise is even anti-revenue as much as it is demoralizing to our hardworking staff.”

According to them, the alleged backdoor contract is also against Section 8 of the Public Services Commission Act 1994 (Act 482) as well as the Public Services Commission Human Resource Policy guideline manual (2015).

The alleged recruitment exercise, they claim, has been outsourced to KPMG, stationed at the Allied Heights, near the Dzorwulu Traffic Lights, in Accra.

“We wish to state unequivocally that, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is a Public Service Institution as enshrined in Article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Sec. 7 of Act 482 and shall remain same and managed as such as prescribed under Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009 (Act 791),” the petition signed by the executive secretary, Ibrahim Seidu, dated November 3, said.


Aside from it being opaque, they pointed out, the recruitment exercise is not giving equal opportunity to contract workers, like the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) interns, who have been with the authority for five years and acquired the requisite experience and competence.

It further said, “This mode of recruitment, in the view of the Union, is considered very unfair. These Officers, in the opinion of the Union having considered their experience gained on the job and the pledge made by Management to be offered the first option any time recruitment would be carried out in the Authority, cannot be left out. The Human Resource Department (HRD) is alleged to have hurriedly issued a memo requesting for the details of these contract workers with a short submission time line.”

GRAWU said they are unconvinced something better will come out of it, because, in 2020, something higher, like interviews, was conducted, but it ended nowhere. In their resolves, the workers warned “We will not hesitate to evolve provisions in the Right To Information Act to demand cleansing of the recruitment process experience.”

As a state institution, the workers said, the action was contrary to the standard recruitment procedure as required of GRA and so as part of their request, they have demanded that all such recruitments be left solely to the GRA Human Resource Department.

Financial challenge

The workers say this is coming at a time Organized Labour has had cause to raise strong concern about the management of the authority’s finances which, they say, are in dire position.

On promotion, the Union said it appears there is deliberate agenda to undermine senior workers who, per normal practice, should be heading some departments and divisions but, for years, they have been left unattended to.

The union further said, they are perceiving an “Attempt to render performance of these heads ineffective so as to pave the way for external recruitment and outsourcing of their functions. This state of affairs has the tendency to not only demotivate the affected staff but also the entire staff of GRA since there is no prospect for progression of staff to the top Management. It has become crystal clear with the recent Head Count undertaken by External auditors (Audit Service).”

“This we believe is because of the recent recruitment style of Management which is not ensuring that the Internal Audit Department performs such exercises that it used to,” it added.

The petition also complained about workers who have occupied acting positions without substantive appointments for years.

The workers levelled another charge against the management, saying that, despite having a functioning Information Technology Audit Unit, the management is almost always outsourcing contract for all review of internal IT systems for improvement or replacement, wondering if the financial resources of the authority are limitless.

Questionable deals

The management is also accused of awarding questionable contracts without direct recourse to the Technical Officers in GRA. A case in point is the claim that the Cyber Security Contract, worth GH₵380 million, has been outsourced to be executed within a year.

While this contract has been given out, GRAWU said there is a network connectivity (network infrastructure) worth $17 million lying idle over the past four years, adding the procurement of Dell laptops and desktop computers, which are not fit for purpose, are part of the questionable procurement processes hurting the authority.

To clear every doubt, GRAWU suggested “That an independent investigation be conducted into the procurements of these IT Service, tools and terms of the contracts to ascertain value for money.”

The petition also expressed disquiet about the intention to procure some alleged body cameras for Customs Officers. The workers suggested that the intended procurement of the cameras be re-examined for proper stakeholder engagement before this equipment is acquired.

They demanded value for money report for these listed transactions to allay all fears among staff.

Lastly, GRAWU said, in their resolves, that workers are agitated over the introduction of the overly ambitious Project X (GH₵150BN) target “which has only demoralized our efforts at achieving the GH₵115bn stretched targets that has also been compounded with these emerging issues.”


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