General

Charlotte Osei exposed over $14m office contract

It has emerged that disgraced former chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, awarded contracts far in excess of the approved amount by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

The value of the said contract for the construction of pre-fabricated (Pre-Fab) District Offices for the EC was quoted at $7.5 million in the letter to the PPA, but by the time the contract was awarded, the total sum had jumped to $14.3 million, raising serious questions.

The outrageous increment flies in the face of the procurement law with Charlotte Osei paying the price.

Entity Tender Committee

The five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo to investigate complaints against the deposed EC boss and her two deputies, Alhaji Amadu Sulley, in-charge of Operations and Mrs. Georgina Opoku-Amankwah, for Corporate Services, said Mrs Osei awarded the contracts without reference to the Entity Tender Committee as required by law.

Justice Anthony Alfred Benin of the Supreme Court led the committee, which included Justices Samuel K. Marful-Sau and Justice Agnes Dodzie, both of the Appeal Court, as well as Welbeck Abrah Appiah, a renowned banker and Rose Karikari-Annan, former Executive Secretary, Ghana Employers Association.

It said the excess amount awarded without approval was a whopping $6,837,962.53.

The contract for the construction of the pre-fabricated offices was divided into four lots and the chairperson personally awarded all four at the higher rate of a total of $14,337,962.

There were said to be the construction of three regional offices, as well as 100 pre-fabricated (Pre-FAB) offices in some districts to accommodate staff, equipment and election materials.

EC Boss’ Request

The sacked EC boss wrote to the PPA for restricted tender approval on July 21, 2016 and listed five companies, including Solar Eco Limited, Clicotech Limited, Remscon Limited, Business Pros Limited and Cads Contract & Services Limited as contractors for the projects.

In the said letter with reference C/EC/PROC/01/SF.24/V.3/11, the EC Boss had stated that the EC staff in the affected areas lacked the needed infrastructure to work effectively, posing security, political and other related threats to their smooth operations and needed those facilities without delay ahead of the 2016 elections.

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