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General News of Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Source: 3 News

$12.5 million drone contract approved by Parliament

Parliament has approved the $12.5 Fly Zipline contract for the acquisition of drones for the distribution of medical suppliers across the country.

There has been controversy over the propriety of the contract currently, but on Tuesday, December 11, Parliament approved the contract by a 102 majority vote against 58 minority members who voted against the approval of the contract.

The approval of the contract gives Government the go ahead to pay Fly Zipline Inc $12,527,000 to distribute medical suppliers across the country with their drone equipment over a period of four years.

On November 6, 2018, the Public Procurement Authority gave clearance for the Government of Ghana to sole-source the contract to Zipline, a US-based company.

The move was greeted with a strong protest from the minority and some Civil Society Organizations who believe Government should have opened the tendering process up for other companies to also bid for the contract instead of the sole-sourcing approach.

The Minority early refused to discuss the matter when the Health Committee of Parliament presented its report on the issue, stating that the agreement does not ensure value for money.

After the house has voted to approve the contract, Minority Spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson said the deal is a complete rip off.

He said the Minority will meet as a caucus and consider options available to them.

According to him, the Minority will not relent on the matter, and will pursue it further asking the Vice President to come out and talk about details of the deal since he started the conversation around it.

However, Government has stated that the move to get blood and the distribution of other medical suppliers by drones forms part of efforts to enhance the healthcare system.

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