Federation Of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), an arts-based pressure group of experts is appealing to the Copyright Administrator to in earnest set up a committee of enquiry to investigate the alleged financial misconduct of the past and new AudioVisual Rights Society Of Ghana (ARSOG) board members.
The group in a long press statement proposed that Copyright Administrator’s, 14 day ultimatum to the Board of ARSOG and possible mediation with its members, should have a committee to inquire into the Financial Statements of the society to ensure peace among members who are aggrieved.
According to FOCAP, most members of ARSOG have been treated unfairly and have been deprived of vital information on the state of the Society by the Board members they voted for.
READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW.
FOCAP has learnt with dismay the sudden brouhaha surrounding the AudioVisual Rights Society Of Ghana (ARSOG) after our press release about the scheduled elections for which we believed the right thing should be done.
Thankfully by the effective work of some members, a court injunction has been placed on it. It is important to note that FOCAP is keenly watching and studying how the issues and processes will go to ensure there is peace and stability in ASORG.
FOCAP believes the very immediate institution in the hierarchy and workings of collecting societies in Ghana; The Copyright Administrator, which gave 14 days ultimatum to meet both parties and resolve the issues is really on course the right track and FOCAP would like to draw the attention of the Copyright Administrator to some of the areas that needs appropriate attention and scrutiny.
– Financial Statements
FOCAP would like to recommend a set up of an independent committee to investigate the current/outgoing interim executives.
This FOCAP believes enquiry will bring genuineness, transparency and accountability to the organisation ASORG.
FOCAP has in its possession a copy of the Financial Statements and Distribution Statements for the year ended 31st December 2012 to 31st December 2016 and clearly we cannot say Kissi Consult (Chartered Accountants) which has acted as the Independent Auditing firm for ASORG’s financials did not do a good job but FOCAP believes it is necessary to have a forensic audit by the Copyright Administrator independently.
Per the audited financial statements of ARSOG between year ending 31 December 2012 and 31 December 2015; below are some cumulative expenditures for your attention:
ARSOG Board Allowances = Ghc 153,092
ARSOG Local Travels = Ghc 115,912
ARSOG Advertising and Publicity = Ghc 52,809
ARSOG Salaries and Allowances = Ghc 94,604
ARSOG Per Diem (2014 & 2015) = Ghc 74,739
ARSOG Food and Entertainment (2014 & 2015) = Ghc 30,257
ARSOG Cash Award to Icons (2014 & 2015) = Ghc 197,044
ARSOG Board Honorarium (2015) = Ghc 58,160
ARSOG Hotel Accommodations (2013 – 2015) =Ghc 60,729
Copyright Administrator should be assured that FOCAP will play its watchdog role well and monitor to see how the issue is resolved amicably.
The vision of ARSOG according to their Constitution says “the Audio Visual Rights Society of Ghana will be counted among the best collecting management organisation” and FOCAP hopes to aid them to achieve this bold vision.
Per our research and knowledge, we have come to believe that as best practice for collecting societies, the board should be separated from management but after careful study of the audited account FOCAP realized that board members played an active role for both board and management and received allowances for all ie. Board Sitting Allowance, Management Allowance, Per Diem, Icon Award and also received Levy/Royalties as members. We hope the Copyright Administrator would take a critical look at this anomaly during the mediation.
Mel Kwesi Davis