How the Electoral Commission is Abusing Ghana’s Elections
March 10th, 2020
- Fresh evidence now firmly and conclusively establishes that the EC’s lies about the current state of the biometric system were to pave the way for a corrupt procurement gig.
- We now have full records of the EC’s Parliamentary oversight proceedings that show that the EC’s Biometric Voter Management System is far from obsolete.
- On page 5 of the “Special Budget Committee on the 2019 Budget Estimates of the Electoral Commission”, conclusive evidence is provided that after complaining about its equipment in 2017, the EC embarked on a major equipment and software (VMS) replacement and refurbishment exercise. On page 8 of that same report, we note that over $40 million has gone into these activities.
- This spending is on top of the roughly $40 million expended on the same set of equipment in 2016 as attested by page 9 of the aforementioned report.
So, in 2016, we refresh 7500 BVRs and buy 40,000 BVDs at the cost of several millions. In 2018, we buy 2000 BVRs and more BVDs, also for millions of dollars. And now, in 2020, we want to spend $72 million buying a brand new system!
- These expenditures are corroborated by page 12 of the Ministry of Finance’s 2017-2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework document and page 18 of the same Ministry’s 2019-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
- The EC’s claim has always been that since 2011 no new equipment has been bought and so the system is obsolete.
- The records from both parliament and the ministry of finance shows that in both 2016 and 2018 millions of dollars of new equipment were bought. So where are they?
- The EC has blatantly and consistently lied about the true facts of the current biometric system and its ongoing effort to procure a new one.
- Remember the EC’s claims that it will cost just $56 million to procure a new system whilst the cost of refreshing and maintaining the existing one would cost $74 million? ALL LIES. Turns out it would have cost $15 million to refresh the 30% of the existing system that needs refreshing and that it will cost us $72 million to replace just the hardware plus more for software.
- Add to this the cost of a fresh mass registration, and the total loss to Ghana of the EC’s actions amount to $150 million, if one factors in contingency.
- But economic cost is not the only thing to be worried about. The EC has also bungled the procurement process for both the hardware and software, leaving a trail of evidence suggesting tender-rigging.
- The EC’s tender processes for hardware procurement were so bad that the Chairman of the technical evaluation panel dissociated himself from the results forcing the EC to discard a 4-month process and compress it into a one-week evaluation. They then use one day to select a company once blacklisted by the World Bank for corruption to procure the hardware.
- In October 2019, the EC launched a tender for software that world-class companies like Zetes and Idemia joined seven others to compete. The tender was abruptly cancelled when the EC did not like the outcome.
- Our information is that the EC now intends to sole-source the software contract. The idea that such a sensitive and elaborate software system can be written in one month, integrated into the hardware, tested and deployed for registration to begin in April 2020 is complete fantasy.
- Our intelligence is that the EC is now in a desperate and unholy haste to find a way to get Thales, the company mired in multiple corruption scandals worldwide, to supply the software. This will be a serious breach of the policy the EC announced to the world of maintaining separate software and hardware suppliers and open the system for manipulation by one contractor.
- We are also investigating serious allegations by multiple bidders that using underhand subcontracting, the EC’s consultant in navigating the procurement process, Fairgreen Limited, has metamorphosed into a supplier of some of the equipment. This will validate our suspicions that the existing system was PURPOSEFULLY BASTARDISED TO CREATE ROOM FOR GARGANTUAN PROCUREMENT FOR THE SELFISH INTERESTS OF KEY DECISION MAKERS.
FULL PRESENTATION FILE [HERE]