Sunday, June 30, 2013

Final audit of pink sheets at centre of cross examination

 June 28, 2013 (Page 19)

Nii Amanor DodooNii Amanor DodooThe issue of whether or not the international audit firm, KPMG, left out salient issues in its final report on the audit of pink sheets, which are at the centre of the presidential election petition, featured prominently at the Supreme Court sitting in Accra yesterday.
Lead counsel for the petitioners, Mr Philip Addison, sought to suggest to a Partner of KPMG and Head of Tax Audit, Nii Amanor Dodoo, that the KPMG failed to take into account, the full comments of the petitioners’ response to the draft of the audit report before issuing its final report.
But Mr Dodoo maintained that the firm worked with exhibits submitted to it by the Supreme Court Registrar, and the secretary of the president of the nine-member panel hearing the election petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the December 7 and 8, 2012 presidential poll.

The Issues
During cross-examination of Mr Dodoo, Mr Addison maintained that some exhibits used by the respondents in cross-examining the star witness for the petitioners, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, were not taken into account in the final audit report.
He also suggested to the witness that some sets of pink sheets which were part of the presiding judge’s set of pink sheets were not captured in the audit report.
Mr Addison again pointed out that the KPMG failed to include in their  final report, the unique polling station codes which were captured by the petitioners in response to the draft audit report.
The witness explained that the firm dealt with exhibits submitted to it by the Supreme Court Registrar and Secretary to Mr Justice William Atuguba.
On the issue of whether or not exhibits used by the respondents in cross-examining Dr Bawumia were inculcated in the final audit report, Mr Dodoo explained that such matters were not part of the terms of reference of the KPMG.

The Scope of Work
According to the final report, it was agreed by all parties that the procedures to be carried out shall be as follows:
A count setting out the total number of all pink sheets filed at the registry by the petitioners according to the manner in which they had been set out under paragraphs 44 to 67 of the affidavit of Dr  Bawumia, filed at the registry of the Supreme Court on April 7, 2013. (Paragraphs 44 to 67 generally give the breakdown of the specific combinations of constitutional and statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices) and providing the exhibit number, if any, of  the polling station name and code and number of pink sheets filed at the Supreme Court’s registry.

Mr Addison’s Figures and Inventory
According to Mr Addison, the petitioners noticed in the draft report 171, entry errors for polling station codes in the data provided by the KPMG and queried if the KPMG took that into account in its final report.
In answer to that question, Mr Dodoo explained that his firm clarified those issues and it emerged that the information KPMG had captured reflected what had been captured on the pink sheets supplied to it by the court.
Dissatisfied with Mr Dodoo’s answer, Mr Addison insisted, “there were 171 entry errors, and it was for you to clarify.”
In response, Mr Dodoo said in cross-checking the documents, the KPMG found that 34 of the said errors were committed by the petitioners, adding that, “the rest were not errors.”
He also informed the court that he did not recall if the respondents had filed any pink sheets, adding that there were 13,926 pink sheets in the custody of the registrar.
Mr Dodoo explained that the pink sheets were identified by exhibit numbers and polling station codes.
Asked if he knew polling station names could be uniquely identified by polling station codes, the witness answered, “Yes. I will guess so because it was not within our mandate to identify by polling station names and codes.”
He pointed out that the audit was restricted to what was seen on the pink sheets.

Remarks on 1,545 Pink Sheets
Mr Addison suggested to the witness that there were remarks on 1,545 pink sheets. Out of that, 850 of the pink sheets could clearly be identified by polling station codes to which Mr Dodoo conceded, and explained that the firm extracted information based on what had been given to it by the court’s registry.
Lead counsel for the petitioners then suggested to the witness that he declined to take into account information provided by the petitioners on the said 850 pink sheets.
Responding, Mr Dodoo expounded that the audit firm restricted itself to the task given to it by the court.

Jurisdictional Issues
Mr Addison pressed on and asked the witness if his firm did not deem it fit to include the petitioners’ comments on the said 850 pink sheets in its report, but Mr Dodoo said it was not part of KPMG’s terms of reference.
“It did not form part of our terms of reference so we limited ourselves to the order,” Mr Dodoo maintained, but Mr Addison retorted, “you just threw our comments away.”
Mr Justice Atuguba at that point intervened and reminded counsel that the witness was raising jurisdictional issues, but Mr Addison answered that the petitioners thought the issues were important, and it would have been fair for  such issues to be brought to the attention of the court.
Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira then advised counsel to add those issues to his address but Mr Addison said the issues related to count.
Mr Addison later insisted that 655 pink sheets out of the 1,545 polling stations could be identified and queried if KPMG added the petitioners’ comments on the 655 pink sheets to which Mr Dodoo replied in the affirmative but stated that the details on the 655 pink sheets were not eligible.

 Unique Polling Stations
Mr Addison then suggested to the witness that out of the said 1,545 pink sheets, 1,186 were identified as having unique polling station codes (no duplications) but Mr Amanor said, “I am not sure how to answer the question.”
His response drew laughter from the court.
After the laughter, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegebe, told Mr Addison the issue he had raised was for the address stage.
Appearances in Registrar’s Set
Asked how many unique pink sheets were in the registrar’s set, Mr Dodoo said he did not understand what counsel meant by unique pink sheets but stated that if counsel was talking about pink sheets appearing only once there were different scenarios of some exhibit numbers, polling station codes and names appearing either once or more than once.
After taking the court through numerous figures, Mr Dodoo finally answered Mr Addison’s question after it was repeated and said, 8,675 polling station codes appeared only once.
Asked if the figures included the 1,545 supplied by the petitioners in their comments, Mr Dodoo said no with the explanation that those were not eligible.
Mr Addison’s Figures
Mr Addison said the petitioners comments provided that 4,089 pink sheets were used to cross examine Dr Bawumia adding that 1,097 out of the 4.089 used by the President and the NDC were not part of the registrar’s set.
Mr Dodoo explained that he did not have any basis to confirm that assertion because there were no checks to that effect.
Mr Addison continued and stated that 2,230 out of the 4,089 pink sheets used in cross examining Dr Bawumia were not part of Mr Justice Atuguba’s set.
Mr Jones Dotse said the witness was not in a position to know that because his mandate was limited but Mr Addison stressed that the petitioners were invited to add their comments adding, “that is why we are bring it to the court’s attention.”
Relevance and Prejudice Objection Overruled
Dissatisfied with Mr Addison’s line of cross examination, counsel for the President and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Tony Lithur and Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, respectively, objected to the figures raised by Mr Addison.
According to them they were not accurate, irrelevant and prejudicial to their case but the court in an 8-1 majority decision dismissed the objection.
Mr Addison Continues
According to Mr Addison, out of the 4,079 pink sheets, 648 were neither in the registrar nor the President’s set but Mr Dodoo said he was not in a position to confirm that adding, “it did not form part of our mandate.”
No Inventory was Taking
Questioned if his firm took inventory of pink sheets, Mr Amanor answered in the negative and further indicated that to the best of his understanding, it was the petitioners who
Mr Amanor earlier told the court the KPMG took into account comments from the petitioners that were pertinent and included them in the final report.
Confusion over Packaging
After a complex explanation on how exhibits were packaged for the audit and how some exhibit numbers overlapped during labeling in the “P” series – Mr Dodoo took the court through the appendixes in the audit report and what each of them stood for.
Mr Dodoo said the test highlighted polling station codes and not names because some of the names adding that he did not have a full list of polling station names and codes.
Asked if he counted all the pink sheets in the registrar’s set, Mr Dodoo said the audit was based on one lot of the registrar’s set of pink sheets and informed the court that the registrar told him that the labeling and packaging of the exhibits was done by the petitioners.
Mr Dodoo said he was not in a position to state which pink sheets were not counted in the president of the court’s set.
Mr Addison suggested to the witness that he had said the registrar gave him one set while his report said there was more than one set.
Lead counsel for the petitioners did some arithmetric and stated that if figures captured in the petitioners comments were added to the total figure of unique polling stations, the figures will match up to the petitioners 11,842 polling stations where electoral irregularities allegedly occurred.
However, Mr Dodoo said he was not in the position to confirm that.
Tendering of Analysis and Comments Refused
Mr Addison then sought leave of the court to tender hard copy analysis and comments of what in the petitioners estimation had been left out in the report but the court in 6-3 majority decision refused the move.
Risk Management
Mr Addison refuted Mr Dodoo’s assertion that soft copies of audit reports were not given out to clients but Mr Dodoo explained there were exceptional circumstances which normally rested on contractual arrangements.
Mr Justice Atuguba interceded and reminded Mr Addison that he had earlier been overruled over his request for a soft copy of the report.
Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie informed Mr Addison that, “you have done marvelously well without soft copy,” to which Mr Addison later announced he had completed his cross examination, thanked Mr Dodoo and resumed his seat.
Mr Lithur is expected to cross examine Mr Dodoo on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

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