Accra, The two Deputy Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission (EC) signed two contracts with STL on 6 May 2015 for $ 22.3 million (BVR) and $ 16.4m (BVD) respectively, Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Chairman of the Commission has said.
She said the letters were written to Public Procurement Authority (PPA) on 15 May 2015, seeking permission for sole sourcing AFTER the contracts had been signed.
The contracts contained no price break down and were signed against the 2016 budget of the Commission, which was unknown at the time, Mrs Osei stated in a 17 paged document response to a petition by unknown concerned staff of the EC through their lawyer to the President for her impeachment.
The finance and procurement departments of the Commission had no knowledge of the execution of the contracts, she added.
The petitioners claimed that: The Commission signed a contract with Super Tech Limited (STL) on the premise that the Voters Registration Exercise was going to be electoral area based.
The workers said upon assumption of office as the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Osei unilaterally abrogated the said contract without recourse to the Commission that approved the earlier version.
She single handedly renegotiated the contract with the vendor without involvement of the members of the Commission not even the deputies.
She then awarded the contract to the tune of $ 21,999, 592 without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act.
The Chairperson rewarded these contracts without seeking approval from the Commission.
In the opinion of the Commission, these contracts could have been negotiated further down if members had been involved.
This is because the change in the 2016 voters registration process required automatic reduction in these contracts.
Mrs Osei in her response said the Chairperson informed the Deputy Chairpersons of the many breaches of law in connection with these contracts.
She said the Deputy Chair Operations confirmed the illegalities in an email and also confessed his lack of knowledge of procurement processes.
She noted that the Chairperson abrogated the contracts in August 2015 and requested the Finance department to re-negotiate with STL and rectify the contract award process.
Upon receipt of the consent of the PPA to sole sourcing, she engaged consultants to advise the Commission on the real needs of the Commission regarding the BVR contract and review the proposals submitted by STL, she said.
The Consultants confirmed that the Commission should spend a maximum of $ 7.2m. This resulted in STL submitting a new proposal for the services at a quote of $ 7.2 million.
She noted that interestingly, STL had not complained about the abrogation of the contracts; adding that it was amazing that persons, who schemed to cause loss to the state, flout procurement laws with impunity, could then accuse another of acting illegally.
She said when the first contracts were signed; no one in the Commission was involved in the negotiations.
Quite surprisingly, it is now alleged that their involvement would have resulted in better pricing for the Commission.
Was the Chairperson to seek the input of the same deputies who had admitted lack of knowledge in procurement matters and who had earlier failed to follow procurement laws and hastily signed such major contracts? Mrs Osei quizzed.
Source: Ghana News Agency