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Contractual Relationship Between EC & STL...NPP Calls For Full Disclosure   
 
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01-Apr-2016  
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John Boadu
 
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The New Patriotic Party is calling for full disclosure and clarity about the contractual relationship between the Electoral Commission (EC) and its vendor, Superlock Technologies Ltd (STL).

This matter has been revived by two statements issued this week. First was from the Minister of Interior stating that STL has a contract with the EC to transmit election results. This was immediately followed by a denial from the EC.

Why this is news is that a similar confusion ensued on December 8, 2012, when party representatives visiting the Dzorwulu office of STL for verification on an alleged role of STL in results transmission were walked through the role STL was playing, which they said was providing only backup communication (Radio/Satellite) lines to support facsimile transmission of results and yet the EC quickly came out with a categorical denial that any such contractual engagement existed.

We do not want the country to enter into another election with a cloud of suspicion on the role being played by vendors in the electoral process.

The statement from the Minister of Interior, Prosper Bani, issued on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 said, “STL is the company contracted by the Electoral Commission to transmit tallied election results.”

This is in direct contrast to the statement of December 8, 2012, issued by the then EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan.

He stated, “The Commission’s attention has been drawn to allegations that it has engaged the services of a company to do electronic transmission and collation of results on its behalf.

“We wish to state emphatically that no such engagement has been made, neither is the Commission doing electronic transmission of results.”

What then is the current contractual arrangement between the EC and STL?

Full disclosure on this is even more pertinent now with the Minister’s claim coming in the very month that the EC advertised an open tender, requesting for Expression of Interest (EOI) for the procurement of an “ICT-Based Election Results Management Systems”

(ERMS) in the upcoming 2016 November general elections to enhance the credibility of results, with the title, “Ghana: Electoral Commission goes digital in results collation for 2016 polls.”

The information we collected from several sources is that STL’s contractual scope covers the cleaning, assembling of the voter registration kits; the maintenance of the hardware and software of the EC Data Center, and; the provision of communications lines for the EC. What does this all mean?

The EC owes it to the general public to explain whether the above defines the entire scope of its current contract with STL and if so, what that entails and if not what else has STL been contracted to do?

The general public would also wish to know about the current status of bids for the proposal for electronic transmission of results for this year’s elections.

We believe rather than issuing blanket denials, the EC would do the nation a lot of good by being completely transparent on this matter and any other matter that touches on the integrity of the electoral process.

The absence of transparency, and the usual haste to issue a denial only end up contributing negatively to hurting public confidence in the EC. The EC must be more conscious and pro-active in recognizing the need to build an atmosphere of public trust in the way it manages the electoral process.


…signed…

John Boadu

Ag. General Secretary, NPP
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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