GH¢4.6bn BoG/Sibston Switch contract heads to court

A GH¢4.6bn Bank of Ghana contract to provide a one-stop shop for all electronic payment transactions is set to be challenged in court.

An aggrieved party, Vals Intel Limited, whose GH¢14m bid was rejected says the BoG failed to follow the Public Procurement Law in arriving at the decision to award the contract to Sibton Switch Services Ltd in July 2016.

In a lay man’s understanding, the BoG contract to Sibton Switch Services Limited (SSSL) is to create a platform that allows customers to electronically transfer monies across different financial networks. You could transfer money from say, Tigo to Airtel money or from E-Zwich to mobile money.

SSSL is expected to recoup its GHC4.6bn investment after 20 years by imposing some charges on telecommunications networks and financial institutions which in turn are expected to transfer the charge to their clients.

But speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, the Executive Director of Vals Intel, Kojo Graham raised a redflag over the deal. He said his company had gathered evidence showing “a legion of violations” in the award of the contract.

The Executive Director says the BoG is not granted the power by the Procurement law to approve a contract with a value beyond GH¢100,000.

For the three restrictive tender bids submitted to the BoG, it requires approval from the Central Tender Review Board.

Kojo Graham maintains the evaluation process used to choose Sibton Switch over the two competitors was ‘not transparent’ and ‘discriminatory’.

He said although his company was evaluated as not technically good enough, Vals Intel and its technical partner is one of about three companies worldwide that does inter-operability, the services SSSL was expected to offer.

Sibton Switch got marks for technical competence although the 14 months old company had never done any work in that area, he explained.

Another evaluation criteria required that the BoG visits the sites of the vending companies to inspect and ascertain their capabilities and award marks. He says he never got any site visit and was scored zero. Sibton Switch Services Ltd on the other hand, was only visited after the BoG had awarded the contract to them, he claimed.

Kojo Graham also said that although Sibton Switch Services Ltd was awarded the contract it was Sibton Switch Communications that bid for the contract. In effect, the company that won the award did not bid for the contract, he claimed.

He said Sibton Switch Services Ltd and Sibton Switch Communications are two separate legal entities which he intends to prove in court.

Expect more….