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15 July 2016

Angry GBC workers lock out board members

gbcWorkers of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on Wednesday locked board members out of the corporation’s premises.

According to Citi News’ sources within the leadership of the GBC Union, a resolution has been passed barring members of the GBC board chaired by Richard Kwame Asante from entering the premises.

The Union is asking the National Media Commission (NMC) to dissolve the board. Citi News sighted a notice of workers’ resolution copied to the board, the acting director of the corporation, Francisca Ashietey-Oduntum, the Trade Unions Council and other persons.

The notice stated that “the present GBC board is hereby declared “persona non grata” and should cease entry into the BH3 and all other facilities forthwith.” In another document, the GBC union stated that “[they] find the operation of the board inimical to the progress of the national broadcaster”.

The union accuses the GBC board of “engaging in micromanaging of the affairs of the GBC and totally missing out on their main role of policy formulation. This can be seen by the frequent meetings of a number of sub committees draining the coffers of a corporation that owes virtually every service provider.”

Some workers, who spoke to Citi News on condition of anonymity, accused the board of misappropriating the state corporation’s Internally Generated Funds (IGF) by “illegally” employing directors without recourse to due process. The directors include; the Director of Legal, Corporate Affairs, Human Resource, Deputy Director of Finance, and the Deputy Director of Audit.

According to the workers, the timely intervention of the Union prevented the hiring of a second Deputy of Finance in November, 2015.

Controversies over TV license expenditure

According to an Audit Draft Report on Implementation of the TV License regime, the Director of Internal Audit at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, observed that, the “TV licence is not being treated as a project distinct from the normal activities of the GBC where revenue and expenditure could easily be allocated in order to effectively monitor its financial performance.”

According to the report, this does not allow for the independent assessment of the TV Licence project. It also does not allow for the accurate monitoring of the projects financial and governance arrangement.

The auditor also observed that,the Director of Finance (who is among the alleged “illegally” hired directors) is not implementing the accounting arrangements for the TV licence. The auditor also indicated that he was unable to accurately determine the total expenses incurred on the TV Licence Project.

“An amount of GHS 3,697.75 being imprest for the TV licence office was recouped…dated 1st October 2015.

However, only a receipt for GHS 137.00 being food purchased on 27th August 2015 was attached as supporting document” the report further stated.

Workers handicapped

According to the accounts of some workers, the state broadcaster has no vehicles dedicated to its newsrooms.

This according to them makes it difficult for reporters to work.

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