The Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Kweku Baako Jnr is wondering where IMANI Ghana got their facts from since it’s totally different from what he has gathered.
Policy think-tank IMANI Africa, suspects a ‘corrupt procurement gig’ in the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register.
At the press conference in Accra on Tuesday, March 10, Vice-President (in Charge of Research) at IMANI Africa, Bright Simons argued that the EC’s claim that it will cost just about US$56 million to procure a new system is deceitful.
“Turns out it would cost US$15 million to refresh the 30 percent of the existing system that needs refreshing and that it will cost us US$72 million to replace just the hardware plus more for software. Add this to the cost of fresh mass registration, and the total of loss to Ghana of the EC’s actions amount to US$150 million…” he said.
But economic cost is not the only thing to be worried about.
Acording to IMANI Ghana, the EC also bungled the procurement process, leaving a trail of evidence suggesting tender-rigging. This has opened the process to litigation and delay.
The EC used one day to disqualify well-qualified bidders, claiming that they had reputational problems.
According to Imani Ghana boss, Franklin Cudjoe, EC’s recent procurement process for the selection of vendors for the Biometric Voter Management Solution (BVMS) is fraught with irregularities, claiming that Commission was going to pay for more contrary to earlier position that money would be saved.
“They say they are blacklisted by World Bank . . . honestly, I have not seen any of those reports but I am aware such reports are on the internet,” Kweku Baako said.
“I would really love to have access to established findings coming out from investigative processes by credible organisations that this particular entity is so bad that it has been blacklisted and that sanctions have been imposed on them by appropriate authorities indicating that you don’t even have to give them a chance when you are considering procurement. I would want to see that . . . ” he argued on Peace FM’s ‘kokrokoo’ programme.
“My records point to a different direction,” Kweku Baako insisted.
According to him if there is such a thing and we allowed them to partake in the competitive bidding, then we check our own procurement laws to correct them.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has ruled out any unfair practices in the award of contracts for the procurement of electoral materials for the upcoming elections.