Ghanaian News

SML did not pay GH¢13.38m VAT —KPMG report

Accounting firm, KPMG, has observed in its report commissioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, into the contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) that SML did not pay VAT worth GH¢13.38 million.

The report indicated no deductions of Value Added Tax (VAT) by GRA for eight months on payments. Between September 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, a bulk payment to SML covering eight-month invoices did not have VAT and withholding tax deductions, amounting to GH¢13.38 million.

“This contradicts the GRA’s standard practice of deducting such taxes for payments to SML between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2023,” the report stated.

Change of name
The report further indicated that the company changed its name from Strategic Mobilisation Enhancement Limited (SMEL) to SML after the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) refused to approve the single-source process three times in 2017.

Additionally, the contract’s disapproval was because the company lacked the capacity or prior experience in delivering the services – curbing under-declaration, dilution and diversion of petroleum products — the factors responsible for revenue losses in the downstream petroleum sector.

The report indicated that SMEL, established on February 14, 2017, changed its name to SML on November 22, 2017. “SMEL was incorporated on February 14, 2017. During the period from June 16 to September 14, 2017, GRA made three (3) unsuccessful attempts to obtain PPA’s approval to single-source SMEL to provide transaction audit services. On November 22, 2017, SMEL changed its name to SML,” page 11 of the KPMG report highlighted.

Page 14 of the same report noted that the Ghana Revenue Authority, in 2018, proceeded to award contracts to SML without the approval of PPA.

On June 1, 2018, SML was appointed as a sub-contractor to the West Blue Ghana Limited, then a service provider to the GRA, to provide transaction audit services for seven months.

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