EC Boss’ Secret Letter Exposes Motive For New Voters’ Register

Jean Mensa, EC Boss Jean Mensa, EC Boss

The Herald, has landed a confidential letter from the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) addressed to SuperTech (STL) Limited, chronicling the Commission’s long-time agenda to compile a new voters’ register as far back as 2018; the year her administration was appointed.

Jean Mensa, blamed her predecessor, Charlotte Osei, over the poor execution of the agreement between STL and the EC suggesting there was no value for money in the US$ 4 million, the Commission was paying annually for the management and maintenance of its database.

She specifically accused STL for not training IT officials at the EC to be able to manage the database as required by the agreement.

But The Herald gathered that, the plot to terminate the STL agreement to pave way for the compilation of a new register which has now become an albatross around the neck of the electoral body leading to a lawsuit against the EC at the Supreme Court, was hatched before Mrs. Mensa took office.

The 4-page letter dated February 18, 2019, signed by it Chairperson, Jean Mensa, addressed to STL’s Director, Business Development Idan Strulovich, revealed the Commission and STL, have since 2017, been having disagreements over the contractual agreement reached between them spanning the previous Mrs. Charlotte Osei administration.

Mrs. Mensa, said in her letter that the Commission wasn’t in support of STL doing so many things at the same time, adding “Indeed on numerous occasions, we expressed our dissatisfaction with the current situation at the Commission where you as vendor, provide services, procure kits and manage/ maintain our database among other activities.

We have time and time again emphasized that vendors should remain vendors and not managers of our systems. Our attempt to gain control our systems has been met with insinuations and resistance”.

The content of the EC chair’s confidential letter, revealed it was a follow up to an earlier one by STL to the Commission which raised issues of concern.

Mrs. Mensa, did not only appear unimpressed with the contract with STL, but most importantly the administration of her predecessor, Charlotte Osei, who was removed from office by President Akufo-Addo in 2018 through schemes hatched by Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, who has since become the Director of Ghana School of Law.

Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, had twice petitioned President Akufo-Addo for the removal of Charlotte Osei. The first petition had anomalies and it was returned to him to polish up.

 

When the second one was submitted, President Akufo-Addo, passed it over to the then Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, who quickly issued a gag order to the media to desist from reporting the closed door hearing on the petition and at the end of the hearing.

Charlotte Osei was dismissal based on the recommendation of the committee. Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku, were also dismissed by the president.

From the document, there was systematic ploy by the Jean Mensa administration to disengage the company, leading to the two having several meetings all aimed at ensuring the agenda is carefully executedwith accusation by the chairperson that STL “Has exhibited bad faith in its dealings with the Commission”.

There was also a disagreement between the two as to who had the mandate to manage and maintain the EC’s database as well as it maintenance agreement.The EC confirmed in the letter that, it long decided to terminate the agreement when they assumed office.

“The decision was taken as a result of the fact that, we felt it was important to obtain an independent assessment of the Commission’s Database and ICT systems before we proceeded with the terms of the Agreement”.

For instance, it said, after a careful assessment of the maintenance service to the Commission, it concluded that, STL, did not deserve the whooping four million (US$4) it was chargingthe EC per annum.

“As a Commission, we sought to ascertain the level of your maintenance service to the Commission for which you charged a fee of four (4) million USD. The conclusion reached was that the level of maintenance provided to the Commission does not warrant the fee of four (4) million USD charged the Commission per annum”.

EC also expressed concern about STL’s inability to build capacity of it staff because the IT Company informed them that the staff at the time, were not capable of receiving training. This, the EC said resulted in STL’s total dominance and control of all IT processes within the Commission.

 Mrs. Mensa, further accused STL of refusing to train staff of the Commission, including the most basic training such as the refurbishment of kits; a service she said the company continues to render at huge cost to the Commission.

“An example of our request to you to offer basic training on loading information on SD cards for transmission on the BVD kits was resisted by you prior to the 2018 Referendum. Ultimately, you succeeded in denying staff this training. You woefullyfailed at offering training to our staff for the last eight (8) years”.

The EC chair blamed STL, saying “the EC now has staff strength of 45 who are totally in the dark as to all processes relating to our registration, exhibition, duplication, refurbishment of kits, verification and management or maintenance of the Data Centre and their systems.

 This should never have been allowed”, she said blaming the Charlotte Osei Commission indirectly for not ensuring that the IT firm was able to fully complete terms of agreement.

STL, despite it communication to the EC that it will not support the Commission’s systems after April 1, 2019, according to the chairperson met with the other Commissioners on several accounts “To convince us to sign a new contract with you for refurbishment of the Data Centre and the procurement of BVD and BVR kits. Indeed you were at the Commission on a number of occasions in January 2019 to advance this argument”.

The Commission also expressed surprise at the decision by STL to release the passwords to the EC when the company had been told in an earlier meeting that it could not do so because the EC was now recruiting professional staff into the IT department and so it holds on with the password until such a time that capable staff were employed to take over.

The company had in their earlier letter to the Commission’s chair expressed worry about their inability to handover the Commission’s passwords because EC did not have capable hands though the request to have the password came from the Commission.

Source: The Herald