The Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), has served notice that it would no longer offer its services to any government related agency without signing an official contract to that effect, even though it is a wholly owned government company.
AESL is a wholly government owned company which carries out consultancy services on government projects but are finding it difficult to survive because they are owed so much so that they can barely pay the salaries and the Social Security contributions of the their workers and hence the action.
“So the situation where we are just called and given work to do; We go and do it with the understanding that it is government to government; they will pay and they are not paying, is affecting us seriously. So to avert this situation, we insist on signing consultancy services agreements such that payment terms are well spelled out so that when they default we can take them to court.” The AG. MD told the Public Accounts Committee.
The company is struggling to pay the salaries of its workers and have been cited in the 2016 Auditor General’s report for defaulting on the payment of the Social Security contributions of its workers, meanwhile it is owed Millions of Cedis for services rendered on government related projects.
The Ministry of Education alone is owing the AESL about 13 Million Cedis dating all the way back to the year 2002. Officials of the company told a Parliamentary Committee.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the Acting Managing Director of AESL, Robert Abugri indicated that his outfit was really suffering financially and the officials are now bent on taking drastic measures in order to ensure that they get what is due them.
“Mr. Chairman, for now we insist that we sign consultancy services agreement with clients when we take on projects. Previously it was just an understanding that we will work and they will pay and when it comes to payment then they are able to dodge and without this agreement you cannot institute any legal action because it is by word of mouth.
“The other bit is that it is government to government and they call us as AESL as [though we are] a department. They think that we are [still] a corporation when we were just consultants to the government of Ghana and provided services just like that. We [now] insist that we are a Limited Liability Company, even though government is the sole shareholder, we work to pay ourselves.” He indicated.
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, speaking to the media at the sidelines of the Committee sitting, also made calls for government agencies to pay for the services rendered by the AESL promptly because it is not an agency on government subvention.
“We should appeal to all government agencies who use the services of AESL to pay for them. They should not think that because it is a company owned by government, government is giving them subvention. Government doesn’t give them any subvention.
“They depend on the fees that they charge and what they collect. So to make that entity viable, government entities who use of the services of AESL must be able to pay them on time so that they can also survive and pay their workers well and do the rest of the things that they need to do.” He said.
Source: Clement Akoloh||Africanewsradio.com