Kwaku Baaku Jnr
Kwaku Baaku Jnr

According to him, STL has become so powerful and overriding the EC and its IT department, a situation he contends is very worrying and sure to stifle the growth of Ghana’ electoral body.

Kwaku Baaku Jnr
Kwaku Baaku Jnr

STL was contracted by Ghana in the run-up to the 2012 elections to procure materials for the much-touted biometric registration exercise in preparation for that year’s crucial Presidential and Legislative polls. The company was also tasked to train the IT staff of the EC, however the company failed to deliver its mandate.

A report by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) titled CONDUCT OF AN INSTITUTIONAL ASSESSMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE EC OF GHANA, issued August 2015 indicted STL for not honoring its side of the contract.

Aspects of the report among other things, said: “Having the voter register database outsourced, but housed within the EC, eventual difficulties in the management of the IT systems undermine the EC’s effectiveness. The EC does not have a developed IT policy. Lack of comprehensive IT policy presents the risk that the EC would not be able to properly safeguard its information or maintain its IT equipment”.

It further noted that “The management of biometric database has been outsourced to STL who was expected to train and fully hand over the system to the IT department of the EC before the 2012 elections. STL has not respected this component of the contract as at this assessment in August 2015. The implication is that the EC will be unable to conduct biometric registration without STL. STL has not been transparent with the officials of the IT department to enable the latter to understand how the system functions, even though STL officials are based in the IT department of the EC.”

However speaking on Joy FM’s News analysis show News File Saturday, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako called for an immediate halt to STL’s unfair dealings with the EC.

“There are serious things going on there. This STL angle….. we must take a second look at it. They were supposed to have done this capacity building in 2012 which they failed to do. Yet they are still there in the EC virtually controlling our IT department. I know there are people within the EC who are worried about this situation. There are people in there who are ready to change this situation. This has gone on for about three to four years.

The EC has 62 Member IT staff which the report said are not fit for purpose. What has the STL been doing to enhance the capacity of these staff, it is obvious that they are not doing anything serious so as to continue their strong hold on the IT department. There are many other contracts that we have signed with STL that we have to re-examine” Kweku noted.

HISTORY

In 2011, the Chronicle Newspaper warned that electoral fraud beckoned the country after the EC awarded the procurement of biometric registration materials to STL.

Checks by The Chronicle revealed that Superlock Technologies Limited, a Ghanaian registered Israel company had no track record in the field of vote automation (biometric registration exercise).

The company prides itself in the field of Security and Interior doors, Collapsible and Fixed Burglarproof, Balustrades, Air conditioners, Padlocks, Safes and Water heaters. It also provides consultancy services, supply, installations and maintenance services on security materials.

The doors and security lock company in 2010 was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), now the Economic & Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in a US$16.9million contract awarded to it, to renovate some Ghanaian foreign missions.

The said contract was awarded to the company without going through due process as prescribed under the Procurement Act of the country.

The company was accused of not having a track record in the field of construction, but due to its influence across the various political divide, it was awarded the US$16.9million contract to renovate Ghana’s foreign mission in New York, Washington D. C. ( both in the USA), and Ottawa in Canada.

The SFO established that STL had been involved in dubious deals. There are many within and without our political environment who believe that the company, which is now the biggest data service provider for the Government and other public institutions, should be restricted to its core functions.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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