Auditor General Catches Kenpong Travel & Tours Milking Sports Ministry Dry 

Kennedy Agyapong Kennedy Agyapong

The Accra-based Kenpong Travel and Tours, which does travel schedules for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, has been accused of milking the ministry dry through the sale of air tickets at ridiculous amounts.

The outrageous charges are sometimes over 328 percent above the normal market price.

The claim against Kenpong Travel and Tours was captured in "the annual report of the Auditor-General on the public account of Ghana, Ministries, Departments and other Agencies (MDAs) for the year ended 31 December 2019".

The auditors had spoken to various companies and discovered that the services provided by Kenpong Travel and Tours was exploitative.

The "audit revealed that the Ministry, paid Kenpong Travel and Tours Limited, an amount of GH¢705, 495 for the procurement of various air tickets for the National football team and other officials of the Ministry", adding "our market survey conducted within the airline industry in May 2019 proved that Kenpong Travel and Tours Limited's prices were much higher than the prevailing market prices".

However, the "survey showed that whereas a return flight by KLM, Madrid-Accra-Madrid was GH¢6,279.18 (Euro 1,075.00) in March 2019, Kenpong Travel and Tours Limited for same route two years ago (in June 2017) charged GH¢32,313.00, which was more than 328percent above the market price".

The report, had a table which provided comparative analysis of amount spent on air tickets procured in 2017 to the prevailing price of tickets obtained for same routes during our market survey in 2019.

"Management agreed with our observation. They, however, argued that, the original prices of some of the tickets which went up covered owing to charges in flight bookings".We disagreed with management on the grounds that in our view, such charges should have only attracted penalties".

It asked that "to ensure effective cost control on airline tickets, we urged management to acquaint themselves with knowledge in the procurement and rescheduling of airline tickets", adding that "Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act (Act 921) requires that a Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall ensure the regularity and proper use of money appropriated in that covered entity".