The Public Relations Officer of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), Slyvia Annor, Friday declined questions about the state of the Commission’s website, which observers say has not been functional since Jean Mensa took over.
Following Media General’s revelations that the website – which was found to cost the state $108,510 – indeed has not been functional, the issue gained attention with many seeking answers as to why that has to be the case especially in an election year.
A member of the communication team of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Eric Amoako Twum, for instance, noted there could be no excuse for the EC’s website to be down, calling for further interrogation.
However, when the news team caught up with the spokesperson of the Commission at an event where she came to train Media General journalists on elections coverage, she declined to speak on the matter.
It is unclear why she declined to speak on the issue, but considering the level of public interest, one would have thought the Commission’s spokesperson would use the opportunity to clear the air on the state of the website.
Already, a section of the public and media practitioners are worried that going into an election without a working EC website could have a toll of the credibility of information that will be put out there.
Procurement issues, relating to the redesigning and maintenance of the website were found by the Chief Justice’s committee, which heard the petition for the removal of former EC Chair Charlotte Osei, as some of the reasons for the decision to remove her from office.
The CJ’s committee found that two contracts totaling $108, 510 – $32,510 for re-designing and $76,000 for maintenance – were unilaterally awarded to DreamOval Ltd by Charlotte Osei in breach of the procurement laws.
“As a result, an initial contract for the sum of US$32,510.00 was awarded to Dreamoval Ltd. to re-design a website for the Electoral Commission…
“Accordingly, the Chairperson executed another contract with DreamOval Ltd to enable USAID pay the extra bill of US$76,000.00…
“From the evidence, Mrs. Charlotte Osei failed to adhere to the procurement procedure sanctioned by the Public Procurement Act and the Electoral Commission’s own internal procurement structures,” portions of the committee’s findings read.
By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana