General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Corporate Services, Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, has said contracts worth GHS40m signed by her on behalf of the Commission were not unauthorised as claimed by her boss Mrs Charlotte Osei.
The EC Chairperson in a long statement responding to 27 allegations against her based on which some staff of the election management body have petitioned the president for her removal, accused Mrs Amankwaa of signing the contracts “without the knowledge and authorisation of the chairperson between July and September 2015.”
She said: “Payments were also made on these contracts in excess of her approval limits and again, without the knowledge and authorisation of the chairperson. This is illegal, criminal and a breach of the policies of the commission and the laws of Ghana.”
In her rebuttal, however, Mrs Amanwaa said: “As a matter of principle and convention, the Chair of the Commission’s Entity Tender Committee (ETC) signs award of contract letters. As a result, the contracts under reference had already been approved by the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) which I was the chair. These contracts had been evaluated, reviewed and approved before the Commission gave the Chairperson of the ETC the mandate to sign. The contracts were in respect of procurement of election materials for the District Assembly elections.
“I was therefore in an official capacity to sign those contracts and so did I. It is important to underscore that the processes leading to the signing of these contracts had been concluded prior to her taking over as the Chair of the ETC.
“Election is time-bound and action-packed; therefore, failure to sign contracts timeously has the potential of putting the election calendar at peril. Given the fact that the Chairperson recluse herself from office without informing the deputies, there were few occasions I had to sign contracts in her continuing absence. This was done to ensure that the 2016 General Elections were not in jeopardy. This allegation is therefore frivolous, unmeritorious and borne out of bad faith,” she said.
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