The Electoral Commission (EC) has terminated the contract of the foreign IT firm engaged in 2012 to manage the country’s elections data centre.
According to the EC, the foreign firm was given unfettered access to the data centre, could shut down systems arbitrarily, and was charging US$5.2 million for maintenance and internet annually.
The commission said last year, the firm presented a budget of US$56 million to upgrade the IT systems to be able to conduct the referendum held late last year.
The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, said the commission decided to terminate the contract and, instead, use its internal I.T staff to manage all I.T related activities involved in the management of elections.
In a meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday, the EC Chairperson said the commission’s internal I.T staff of 55 personnel had been well trained to manage the electoral systems.
She said the internal staff was used to conduct last year’s referendum successfully to save the country from spending US$56 million on systems upgrade.
Mrs Mensa indicated that the local staff, when given the necessary training and support, could manage the country’s elections successfully “without placing the sovereignty of the country in the hands of a foreign entity.”
The EC Chairperson said she observed certain institutional lapses at the EC when she took over last year and described the culture there as “a free for all.”
“It is an institution that is not founded on rules, administrative policies and governance framework. There were no policies to guide finance, procurement, human resource, and administration,” she said.
Mrs Mensah noted that the commission existed solely as an election machine, with weak internal structures, systems, and policies.
To resolve that, she said the EC had engaged KPMG to carry out an institutional assessment which would be followed with a proper framework to govern all internal activities and practices.
Furthermore, she said the commission was making efforts to establish a permanent legal department and restructure its procurement department.
“We make procurements running into millions but we have only two people there. We are strengthening our capacity by bringing on board new staff,” he said.
Mrs Mensa spoke about the commission’s decision to institutionalise its Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and efforts aimed at ensuring that political parties complied with all relevant legal provisions.
She commended President Akufo-Addo for giving the commission the necessary support and noted that the President had, since her assumption as EC Chairperson, not influenced its work in any way.
On electoral violence, the EC Chairperson said the commission had learnt lessons from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election and was working with the security services on how to prevent such violence in future.
She said a security task force had been established to prepare and identify flash points to prevent violence in the general elections next year.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, commended the commission for the work done so far and pledged to give it the necessary support.
He said the government would not involve itself in the work of the EC and urged the commission not to be open for manipulation.
“What the ballot should do is to give the verdict of the will of the people. That is what should take place in any functioning democratic state,” he said.
According to the President, any form of interference in the work of the EC would be a distortion of the popular will of the people.
While commending the commissioners for institutionalising the IPAC meeting, he praised them for their efforts to reform the internal structures of the commission.
He said it was alarmed to hear that the commission’s I.T systems were managed arbitrarily by a foreign firm which had monopoly of the data centre.
The President said the decision to use internal staff to manage all aspects of the electoral process had the full support and commendation of the government.
Sex For Grades: Gyampo And Butakor Suspended By UG
Political science professor, Professor Gyampo and Dr Paul Butakor have been suspended by the University of Ghana over the BBC’s report on sex-for-grades
A statement by the University of Ghana stated that “in line with statute 46 (2) of the University of Ghana Statutes, as amended, and regulation 15.0 of the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff of the University of Ghana, the Disciplinary Committee recommended a six-month suspension without pay for Professor Gyampo and a four-month suspension without pay for Dr. Butakor. The suspensions take effect from January 1, 2020.”
Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor are also required to undergo appropriate training on Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy at the University of Ghana, as well as the University of Ghana’s Code of Conduct for Academic Staff.
They will be required to receive a positive assessment after the training before the resumption of their duties. They are also required to undergo an annual assessment for a period of 5 years.
Professor Gyampo, who is also the Head of European Studies at the university, according to the BBC report allegedly requested to marry one of the BBC reporters who posed as a student seeking academic favors.
In excerpts of the video released on BBC Somalia’s Facebook page, Professor Gyampo persuaded the reporter to meet him at the mall where he was caught on camera making “numerous [alleged] inappropriate demands.
Below is the statement by the University
SUSPENSION OF PROF. RANSFORD GYAMPO AND DR. PAUL BUTAKOR
Management of the University of Ghana wishes to inform members of the University community that the Senior Members’ Disciplinary Committee has completed the hearing of the matter involving Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Butakor.
In line with statute 46 (2) of the University of Ghana Statutes, as amended, and regulation 15.0 of the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff of the University of Ghana, the Disciplinary Committee recommended a six-month suspension without pay for Professor Gyampo and a four-month suspension without pay for Dr. Butakor. The suspensions take effect from January 1, 2020.
In addition, Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor are required to undergo appropriate training on the University of Ghana’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy as well as the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff of the University of Ghana. They will be required to receive a positive assessment after the training before resumption of their duties. They are also required to undergo annual assessment for a period of 5 years.
A Fact-Finding Committee chaired by Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, a retired Supreme Court Judge, had investigated allegations of misconduct against Prof Gyampo and Dr. Butakor following the broadcast of the BBC documentary titled: “Sex for Grades: Undercover in West African Universities.” The Fact-Finding Committee found evidence that they had contravened the relevant provisions on misconduct in the University of Ghana Statutes and the Code of Conduct for Academic Senior Members and recommended that the case be referred to the Disciplinary Committee for Senior Members.
Management has accepted the recommendations of the Senior Members’ Disciplinary Committee and has informed Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor accordingly.
The University of Ghana would like to assure all students, faculty, staff, other stakeholders and the public of its commitment to rooting out any acts of misconduct, sexual harassment or any other form of harassment and that it will not tolerate any such acts among students and employees of the University.
Stella A. Amoa
Director of Public Affairs
February 17, 2020
Mahama’s Son Joins NPP Yendi Constituency Race
Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama, a son of the late former Vice President Aliu Mahama has formally joined the New Patriotic Party parliamentary primary in the Yendi constituency in the Northern Region.
He picked nomination forms on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
He was accompanied by some supporters to the Yendi constituency office of the party where the constituency secretary, Fusheini Baba Zakaria handed the forms over to him.
Speaking after picking the forms, Alhaji Farouk Mahama said he was moved by the desire to change the fortunes of the Yendi constituency, a course his late father fought for.
“I want to leave a mark that there are people who are ready to change the game in Yendi,” he said and pledged to make Yendi the most developed city in the Northern region.
Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama is the son of the late former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama (2001-2009).
Farouk Aliu Mahama is a Certified International Supply Chain Professional.
He is currently the Deputy Procurement Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board.
He was born on April 27, 1981.
He started his basic education at Presby Experimental School in Tamale and later enrolled in the Achimota School in Accra.
He proceeded to Prempeh College in Kumasi for secondary school education and later to Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.
He also holds a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the Coventry University in England and a Certified International Supply Chain Professional from International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute-USA.
Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama has two sons, Maltiti Aliu Mahama Jr and Nurudeen Mahama with his wife Ayisha Mahama.
Source: Opera Mini
President Akuffo Addo Commissions 307 Newly Brand Ambulances
On 28th January 2020, our President, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo has commissioned and presented 307 brand new, state_of_the_art ambulances, fitted with advanced life support equipment and tracking devices to be distributed to 275 constituencies.
This is His part of His manifesto promise where He said he will distribute 1 constituency_ 1 Ambulance.
These Ambulances will be managed by the National Ambulance Service and the remainder of the 32 ambulances to the headquarters of the service.
This is also the the single largest presentation of ambulances made to Ghana Ambulance Service, since its establishment in 2004.
At first one ambulance used to serve approximately 524,000 people at the end of December 2016. Now we have much_improved ratio of 1 ambulance serving approximately 84,000 people. By:Betty Akua Agyemang