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EC Commissioners are not happy – Charlotte Osei

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, July 24, GNA –
Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), says the
seven Commissioners of the Commission, have constantly complained about leaking
and damaged roofs of the EC.

They also spoke
against poor electrical wiring, damp walls and lack of storage facilities to
store elections equipment resulting in significant losses and inefficient use
of resources at the Commission.

Mrs Osei made this
known 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 petitioners, who
had come out with 27 claims against Mrs Osei in one of the claims said: “As
part of compromising her independence and neutrality, Mrs. Charlotte Osei
claimed that the Electoral Commission has been allocated a new building for use
as office complex without the approval of the Commission.

“The seven- member
Commission has not at any point in time formally requested for any office
allocation since the Commission sees nothing wrong the current office.

“With the
Chairperson’s insatiable demand of affluence and flamboyance, she unilaterally
awarded a contract to the tune of GHS3.9 million for demarcation and
partitioning of the said office complex without recourse to the Commission.

She claimed she sought
approval from the Public Procurement Authority but strangely enough, the
contract sum is higher than approved level.”

However, Mrs Osei
said: “The Chairperson informed the Commission in late 2015 that the Commission
had requested new office premises from the Presidency to house the new
secretariat of the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA) after
Ghana had been voted as a permanent secretariat of the AAEA in July 2015 with
responsibility to provide office space for the AAEA.”

“In February 2016, at
a Commission meeting members were informed that Government had allocated a new
office building to the Commission through the office of the Chief of Staff,”
she added.

She said members were
further informed that the new office was a new building and would only require
partitioning and all commissioners were encouraged to visit the new premises.

“The Chairperson
subsequently visited the new site with the two Deputy Chairpersons and a
Commission member, all of who were very excited by the new office.

“The Chairperson has
no control over the office of the Chief of Staff or the Presidency and clearly
cannot obtain the permission of the Commission if a new office is allocated to
the Commission,” she said.

She said the current
offices had major structural defects, significant parts of the roof were
collapsing, significant leakages in most offices, damp and mouldy walls,
electrical defects had been discovered and pointed out by the Fire Service for
urgent attention, the building lacks disability access, was decrepit and
outdated, requiring extensive work and expense to make it habitable and
reflective of the office of the Electoral Commission.

Mrs Osei said the
building houses precious lives of staff of the Commission and sensitive
national assets such as the largest database of Ghanaians currently in the
country. The current office space was not suitable by any standards.

She said with regard
to the contract for partitioning of the eight-floor office building, the
procurement laws were scrupulously followed.

She said the scope of
the contract included glazed aluminum partitions for all eight floors, plumbing
and sanitary installations, ventilation/air conditioning installations,
electrical installations, servicing of the lifts, demolitions, masonry works
and painting amongst others.

Directors of the
Commission at the head office (Finance, HR, IT and Electoral Services), and an
external consultant were members of the evaluation panel.

“The Chairperson of
the Commission was not a member of the tender evaluation panel. The bid
submitted by Inocon Limited was the lowest of the three bids and was
recommended to the Chairperson for approval,” she said.

“The Chairperson of
the Commission is not and has never been a member of the tender evaluation
committee and cannot therefore; influence the award of the contract.

“Indeed, Mrs Osei was
not even present in the ETC meeting where tenders were opened for the
partitioning contract,” she added.

Mrs Osei said the
Chairperson was the only one authorised by the policies of the Commission to
sign contracts. 

She said an
investigation into the processes for award of the contract and a value for
money assessment would be welcome as it would be based on law and policies and
not motivated by ill will and pettiness.

GNA

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