General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, says monies collected from journalists for accreditation in the December 7, 2016 general elections and other internally generated funds are not missing.
She told Parliament Wednesday that the failure to capture the total amount of GHC 42,710 collected from journalists in the Commission’s 2017 financial report was an oversight, and that the amount is currently in the EC’s bank account.
“’In total, we collected GHC42,710 from media houses,” she told the House when summoned to answer questions on some discrepancies in the 2017 financial report of the Commission.
The Electoral Commissioned surprised many when it announced that journalist would pay to be issued with accreditation. Though the decision received round condemnation and protestations from the media, the EC stuck to its gun.
There were reports that the GHC10 charged each journalist before being issued with accreditation for the last elections, and other monies collected, were missing as the Commission failed to capture them in its 2017 financial report.
Member of Parliament for Subin, Eugene Antwi, filed an urgent question before the House when he figured some inconsistencies in the financial report, which suggested the EC, did not raise funds internally in its operations in 2016.
But when she appeared before the House Wednesday, Mrs Osei said the non-capturing of the monies which included the over GHC2.5 million collected replacing Voter’s ID cards was an ‘oversight’ and would have to talk to the Financial Director who prepared the report.
The commission received a total of GH¢2,590,080.47 to process replacement voter ID cards. “They are there” she told the House, noting the monies are in a GCB account of the Commission, adding that they cannot expend the money without the Finance Minister’s approval.
‘I’m not the entire Commission’ Asked by Majority leader , Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu when she discovered the money was in the accounts of the Commission, she said it was upon the invitation from parliament that she requested for the Commission’s bank statement and that was when she discovered the amount was in the accounts.
“When I got the letter from parliament inviting me to come and speak to how much we’ve collected for lost or replaced ID cards, then we requested the bank statement and that’s what I found in the bank statement is what I have come to report to the House.
“Mr Chair, I’m not the entire Commission there are other people who work on these things. I’m speaking for myself as Chair,” she told the House but that sparked uproar by the MPS.
The majority leader then said: “Mr Speaker, that’s very informative”. But Mrs Osei quickly came in to explain she answered the question that way based on how it was couched.
The question was: “When did I discover, and I am saying I as a person when I got the letter from Parliament I requested for the bank statement and then what I found is what I have presented. There are other people who work within the departments on this so it is not a discovery matter.