Charlotte Osei - Ghana's Electoral Commissioner (EC)
Charlotte Osei - Ghana's Electoral Commissioner (EC)

The PAC had invited the Management of the EC to a public hearing at Parliament House to respond to queries and some other issues raised by the Auditor-General in the 2014 Report on the audited accounts of the Commission.

Charlotte Osei - Ghana's Electoral Commissioner (EC)
Charlotte Osei – Ghana’s Electoral Commissioner (EC)

The EC Chair was expected to lead a team from the electoral body to appear before the PAC to respond to some infractions detected by the Auditor-General.

Her absence, however, prompted Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Chairman of the PAC and MP for Dormaa Central, to reschedule the meeting but this sparked strong objection from some members of the Committee.

Mrs Osei was represented by Madam Georgina Opoku and Alhaji Amadu Sulley, the Deputy Chairpersons in charge of Finance and Operations respectively, together with some other officials.

The EC officials informed the Committee that their boss was attending an emergency meeting and, therefore, could not honour the invitation.

Mr Agyeman-Manu however, rescheduled the EC to appear before the PAC at a later date by which time Madam Osei would be available.

Mr Mathias Kwame Ntow, the MP for Aowin, appealed for a special dispensation to indulge the two deputies to respond to the infractions detected in the accounts of the Commission, and after a thorough deliberation over the plea, the Chairman of the PAC indulged the EC officials to respond to the issues.

However, when it became evident that Alhaji Sulley and Madam Opoku Amankwaa could not give coherent explanations about a 1.6 million Ghana cedis that was released to the Western Regional Office of the Commission, the Committee gave a two-week ultimatum to the EC to re-appear before it fully prepared to respond to this and other infractions in the audited accounts.

The Auditor-General, in its report, is querying EC for failing to provide adequate supporting documents over a 155,452.72 Ghana cedis out of 1,392,950.66 Ghana cedis that was released to the Sekondi Office of the EC in 2013 to run its operations.

Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, the MP for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, expressed concern about the issue and wondered how the EC could be trusted to conduct credible elections after failing to render proper accounts of releases it received.

Other concerns about the EC raised in the Auditor General’s Report were about how some landed properties and key state installations acquired for the Commission were handed over to other entities without securing their title deeds.

The 2014 Report by the Auditor-General revealed that during the year under review, the Commission acquired two plots of land which were transferred to it at Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East Region and a property situated on plot No. 39, Block B – Gyinyase, Kumasi.

That aside, the Commission also acquired a landed property at Sekondi, purchased a SSNIT property in Tamale and constructed a warehouse at Akosombo.

It also purchased a State Housing Corporation building in Koforidua.

The auditors noted that the inability of the Commission to provide the title deeds of those properties for verification could result in losses to the Commission in times of dispute.

By Benjamin Mensah, GNA

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