Audit EC over $90m cost-saving claim - CARE GHANA

CARE GHANA, a humanitarian organisation has called for a forensic audit of the accounts of the Electoral Commission (EC) to ascertain the veracity of $90 million cost-saving claims.

Electoral Comissioner Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare

Earlier, the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, disclosed that the election management body saved the country $90 million in the conduct of the 2020 general elections.

According to her, the savings was achieved through a reduction of the cost of the election from $13 per person in 2016 to $7.7 in 2020.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the high-level parliamentary seminar on: "Two decades of democratic elections in ECOWAS member states: Achievements, challenges and the way forward", in Winneba, she described the 2020 presidential and parliamentary election as historic, credible, and cost-effective.

She stated that the comparative cost of the election was reduced by 41% which is equivalent to 90 million dollars.

"Notwithstanding inflation and price hikes and the fact that we incurred additional costs owing to the COVID-19 protocols we deployed throughout the election, we cut the cost per voter, from 13 dollars per head in 2016 to 7 dollars per head. Through a reduction in cost, we saved the government a formidable sum of $90 million, she noted.

But CARE GHANA has called on the Auditor-General to conduct a forensic audit of the accounts of the EC.

In a statement, it said "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 so as to ascertain or otherwise the veracity of $90 million cost-saving claims among others."

"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," it added.

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