Blay, K.K. Sarpong in GNPC turf war
The recruitment of a Procurement Manager at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) based on a directive of the state-owned oil company’s Board Chairman Mr Freddie Blay, has resulted in a misunderstanding between him and the CEO, Dr K. K. Sarpong.
Dr Sarpong, in a letter, accused Mr Blay of overstepping his boundary by ordering the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) to proceed with the recruitment process without recourse to him (Dr Sarpong) even though the CFO is a subordinate.
Dr Sarpong said in his letter that he saw the action of Mr Blay as interference and accused him of using his role as the national chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to execute functions at GNPC without recourse to professional standards.
“GNPC’s operative organogram gives direct supervision of the procurement function to the General Manager (Administration) who reports, however, to the Chief Finance Officer. Having oversight of the procurement function does not make the Chief Finance Officer the appointing authority under the rules and regulations of GNPC.
“I wish to reiterate that the responsibility for hiring personnel lies within the purview of the Chief Executive and not the Chief Finance Officer. I have already advised Mrs Comfort Aniagyei, Chief Finance Officer that she has no mandate to recruit personnel, notwithstanding your directive unless I expressly instruct her to do so,” Dr Sarpong said.
He added: “It is clear to me that, you are using your position as chairman of the ruling party to force your way through on matters which must be handled professionally. I will humbly advice that you desist from issuing out instructions to my subordinates and rather deal with me as chief executive”.
In his response, Mr Blay challenged the CEO on his assertions, insisting that the Board has the authority to recruit officers. He subsequently requested the withdrawal of the letter written by the CEO to the CFO, to affirm the recruitment of the procurement manager.
“It should be clear to you that the Board and not the CEO is the appointing authority. Professionalism, which you refer to in your letter, requires that the CEO of a state-owned entity operate within and respect the law.
“While you must take the initiative, you are legally and professionally obliged to seek approval of the Board for all recruitments and any restructuring,” Mr Blay stated.
He added: “The truth is, under your leadership and watch; our corporation has had no Procurement Manager for so long in spite of several directives from the Board to your office to take the necessary steps to fill that vacancy. This dereliction of duty can simply not continue.
“Playing the blame game, which you are now engaged in, will not pass. The buck stops with you Dr K.K. Sarpong, as the CEO. Please understand and very clearly, that the recent Board directive and two-week ultimatum on this matter was conveyed to the Chief Finance Officer, also in her capacity as Acting CEO, when we held that particular emergency meeting. The ultimatum stands and it is up to you to comply or chose to ignore it.”