Ghanaian News

EC gave private firm access to voters’ data without agreement – Auditor-General

The Auditor-General has revealed that the Electoral Commission of Ghana handed over data of voters to a local software development company without an official agreement.

This was contained in the Auditor-General’s special audit report carried out on some selected state institutions.

The report said the company, BSystems Limited, obtained the data from the EC and “offers it to the Financial Institutions for a fee.”

According to the report, the IT solutions company failed to remit 20% of the commission due the EC to the commission or the 2016 and 2017 service years.

“There was no Agreement between the Electoral Commission and Bsystems Limited who obtains Electoral Data from the Commission and offers it to the Financial Institutions for a fee. We further noted that, Bysystem Ltd. failed to remit the 20% commission due the Electoral Commission, in respect of charges for accessing the data, for the 2016 and 2017 financial years,” the report noted.

In response to the adverse findings, management of EC stated that, “There exists a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the commission and Bsystems Limited.”

The commission claimed that it suspended the MoU in the third quarter of 2016 and Bsystems made payment for the first and second quarters in 2016.

However, the Auditor-General, after reviewing the MoU, said it does not constitute a Service Level Agreement.

The Auditor-General said there was also no evidence of the suspension of the MoU as stated by management in their response.

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that management of the EC makes available the contract agreement on the arrangement if any, and recover all outstanding commission due to the Electoral Commission within 30 days from the receipt of the management letter.

It further warned that officers who approved the deal will be surcharged should the EC fail to adhere to the recommendation.

“We recommended to management to furnish the Agreement on the existing contract if any, for our review. We also urged management to recover all outstanding commission due the Electoral Commission within 30 days from the date of the management letter; failing which the contract is should be abrogated and the persons who approved and authorised the transaction, surcharged accordingly,” the report said.

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