A Market Researcher is questioning the rationale behind the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) decision to choose a private entity (Policy Focus) for its research over the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
The NCA has come under fire after details emerged it used over GHC 3,553,192.16 million in producing a survey report which sought to determine the perception of mobile phone users with regards to the services they receive from telecommunication service providers.
Policy think tank IMANI Ghana is insisting the budget was bloated.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the interim president of the Market Researchers Association, Gordon Biaku said the controversy could have been avoided if the NCA had contracted the right state institution to carry out the mobile cellular consumer satisfaction survey.
“If you ask me, if I can do the same job at a lower cost as well, I will say may be! If I’m given the opportunity, and I look at the brief and I look at the way I want to do the work. But most importantly, the question we should ask and I’m asking as a Ghanaian is that, could Statistical Service for example do this work other than a third party doing it at this cost to the State? What is the job of the Statistical Service?” he asked.
The NCA has denied any wrong-doing saying, it has and will always ensure fairness in the awarding contracts for surveys.
The Director of Consumer and Corporate Affairs at the NCA, Mrs. Nana Defie Badu said: “NCA as always will go by the public procurement authorities regulations and at the beginning of the year we sent out our procurement budget to the PPA for approval before any implementation was done … so obviously, it would have contained the survey.”
She assured that going forward, “the NCA will still follow PPA’s directives in ensuring that we advertise expression of interest and to people who respond to the expression of interest, we will give them the request for proposal, for those who submit the request for proposal, we will do the evaluation and submit to either the relevant Ministry or the central tender review board as is appropriate depending on the amount of the contract sum.”
She was however unable to confirm whether the NCA had a budget limit for the survey before the procurement process begun.
This was to assess whether the proposals of interested companies was within that limit.
Following demands for the breakdown cost in the budget for the survey to be made public, the Chief Executive Officer of the research company contracted to undertake the survey; Policy Focus, David Mensah, explained that the instrument design cost GHC 70, 420.
He said the training of 30 trainers cost GHC 77,473 and the training of 280 interviewers who were diploma and degree students in Accra and Kumasi cost GHC 473, 500.
The largest chunk of the budget was for data collection cost, which was GHC 2, 184, 700 cedis.
This was conducted in all districts in the country and took 30 days, taking into consideration accommodation and communication cost.
Some community guides were recruited to aid the operatives in the work and also came at a cost, he said.
Mr. Mensah added that Data Management including data cleaning, data capture amounted to 274, 790 cedis, with data analysis and report writing costing 91,610 cedis.
The GHC 3 .5 million survey sort to determine the perception of mobile phone users with regards to the services they receive from their telecom service providers.
According to the NCA, the survey was commissioned in September 2012 and the survey report finalized in September 2013 after data collation, analysis and verification.
Policy think tank IMANI Ghana was earlier demanding full disclosure from the National Communication Authority-NCA to clear all doubts.
BUDGET BREAKDOWN FOR MOBILE CELLULAR CONSUMER SATISFACTION SURVEY REPORT
GHS 70, 420
Questionnaire design, printing of research
Enumeration area maps
2)-Training of trainers- (30 people)- 4 questionnaires each-
Short listed 23
3)-Training of interviewers- 280 people, diploma and uni degree ( two fold Accra and Kumasi)
GHS 473, 500
4)-Data Collection- every district in each district
30 days in the field, accommodation, and communication
GHS 2, 184, 700
20 per region
Recruited community guides
GHS 274, 790
6)-Data analysis and report writing
GHS 91, 610
By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana