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PAC hearing: 40 EC vehicles auctioned without documents

It has emerged that the Electoral Commission (EC) in 2013 sold out 40 official vehicles at a little over GHc83, 000 to persons including staff without proper documentation.

The vehicles which were predominantly 2007 model were disposed without a list, which made it difficult for the auditors to assess their fair value.

This was made known when the officials of the EC appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on Friday.

But speaking before the Committee, Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei said they now have the documentation ready.

“There were 40 vehicles which were disposed of in the year 2013. Those vehicles were acquired most of them in the year 2007, 2006, 2000 and some in 2003. When we disposed of them through the auction, a total amount of about GHc83, 000 was realized, we have made copies of the documentation relating to that available as well.”

“We have also given details of each vehicle; the year of purchase, the registration number, the year of disposal and the amount realized from the auction,” she added.

Meanwhile when asked about the name of the auctioneer engaged to undertake the process of disposing of the said vehicles, Charlotte Osei said “I have don’t have that information here.”

Agric Ministry grilled over auctioned cars

Some officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), had earlier at the PAC hearing been grilled over the same reason after they admitted culpability in the malfeasance involving the public auctioning of some 24 vehicles belonging to the Ministry between 2011 and 2013, as captured in the 2015 Auditor General’s report.

According to that document, the cars were sold off without payment to the appropriate accounts.

The officials who were grilled by the Public Accounts Committee in April 2017, pleaded for a mere caution, explaining that the current Directors of the Ministry were not in charge during the period of the malfeasance.

Petition against EC chair

Ghana’s Electoral Commission has not been a peaceful place in recent times following a petition sent to the President by some aggrieved members of the commission for the dismissal of Charlotte Osei.

The employees in a statement insisted that Mrs. Osei should be impeached for among others, bringing the “Commission’s name into disrepute by single highhandedly petitioning EOCO on an alleged misappropriation of staff endowment fund for malicious reasons. ”

They further revealed that following her appointment as EC Chair, Mrs. Osei “compromised the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for 2015 V8 Land Cruiser with registration WR 2291-15 from the office of the President for use as official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the Commission.”

The aggrieved employees also alleged that Mrs Osei “unilaterally awarded a contract to the tune of GHS 3.9 million for demarcation and partitioning of the said office complex without recourse to the Commission” and “engaged in cronyism” by “awarding another contract to the tune of $14,310,961 (United State Dollars) to her cronies for the construction of Pre-fabricated District offices without recourse to the Commission. ”

The petition follows the loss of some GHc480, 000 from the EC’s Endowment Fund which prompted Mrs. Osei to ask the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwah and the Finance Director , Dr. Joseph Kweku Asamoah to proceed on leave.

By: Sixtus Dong Ullo/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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