Show us proof you saved Ghana $90m – CARE Ghana asks Electoral Commissioner

Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (CARE Ghana), a civil society organisation, has called on the Auditor-General to conduct a forensic audit of the accounts of the Electoral Commission (EC) to authenticate and validate the commission’s claim of saving the country $90 million in the 2020 elections.

The chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, at the 2021 ECOWAS Parliamentary Seminar held in Winneba in the Central Region, held last week, said the EC saved the country such an amount during the 2020 national elections.

She had explained that the commission achieved that through a reduction of the cost of the election from $13 per person in 2016 to $7.7 in the 2020 national elections.

Nonetheless, CARE Ghana has indicated that it is important to conduct such an audit into the cost-saving claim of the EC, citing that the procurement processes of the Commission during the last elections were fraught with disagreements.

“Our request has become necessary because, at every given opportunity, the Electoral Commission is always in a haste to announce how much the commission has saved Ghana in the conduct of the 2020 general elections.

However, given the controversies that the EC was engulfed with particularly regarding its procurement processes, it would be in the interest of the Commission and the nation at large to conduct a forensic audit of EC’s accounts to ascertain or otherwise the veracity of $90 million cost-saving claims among others,” CARE Ghana said in a statement.

CARE Ghana noted that it does not want to believe that the Commission is “engaged in some self-serving aggrandisement.”

“If indeed, the Commission saved the nation the amount per its claim, then, of course, it deserves commendation and CARE Ghana would not hesitate so to do. It is the reason we are calling for this forensic audit so that the public interest would be better served,” the statement indicated.

The organisation has also asked the commission to, as a matter of accountability and transparency, publish a preliminary report on the conduct of the elections.

This includes details on the cost of registration, cost of exhibition, cost of printing, cost of BVRs, cost of voting materials, cost of printing, cost of transporting electoral materials and personnel and the cost of hiring temporal staff and engaging consultants in the 2020 elections to sustain its claim.

The group believes doing so would establish the legitimacy of the claim and enhance the credibility and confidence the public should repose in the Commission.

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