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General News of Friday, 4 November 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

EC must come clean on company printing ‘pink sheets’ – NPP

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), is skeptical about the Electoral Commission’s claims that it contracted a credible firm to print electoral sheets, also referred to as ‘pink sheets’ ahead of the conduct of the December elections.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the NPP’s Director of Elections, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah, said they believe the EC has not been transparent enough in the award of contract.

“The issue surrounding this matter is a bit sketchy; so we are waiting for further clarification, but what we do know is that, the companies that competed for this contract should have some proven capability, while offering some transparency. One quoted a far less amount of about 4.2 million as against 8 million by the other.

The other who has no proven record and is gone bankrupt in the UK, physically, nobody knows their location in this country, and we are not too sure that they are going to even do it here or elsewhere, suddenly, somehow wins it,” he added.

The Daily Statesman newspaper had alleged in a publication on Thursday, that the EC had awarded a US$8.95 million contract to a British firm, which has been dissolved, to print the electoral sheets for Ghana.

But the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, in an interview with the BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong debunked the claims, adding that the contract was also financially prudent.

She clarified that, the company “has always printed it for us and has now relocated to Ghana which made their pricing better for us. This time, we did not have to bear the high freight charges that we would have had to bear and also the time for shipping.”

But Mr. Korsah argued that, the company has no proven record anywhere in the world; hence should not have been given the contract.

“They have no record to show as against the other companies, one of which produced the 2012 one. He is advised to have won the contract, at least per the information; he quoted the most reasonable price that the Ghanaian tax payer would have been okay with, they did it the last time without any hitches.”

Mr. Korsah further questioned why the British firm that failed to secure similar contract in Kenya should be given an opportunity in Ghana.

“He tried getting a contract to print ballot papers in Kenya; and he didn’t get it; and yet in Ghana he’s lucky to walk away with a rather huge sum as compared to what the others quoted. We need some transparency in this whole arrangement,” he added.