The Electoral Commission (EC) auctioned 40 of its vehicles in 2013 to members of staff of the Commission. Although management of the EC estimated the value of the 40 vehicles at GH¢402,000, a valuer at Intercity STC valued them at GH¢83,029.
The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Accra yesterday that officers at the commission might have come up with a higher value for the vehicles because they lacked the expertise.
“Next time we will speak to areas of our expertise,” she said.
Asked if she knew the name of the auctioneer, she answered in the negative and assured the committee that the auctioneer’s name and other details would be made available later.
The prices of the vehicles ranged between GH¢749 and GH¢3,745.
The Chairman of the PAC, Mr James Avedzi, asked what the policy of the EC was with regard to the disposal of vehicles.
He also queried the EC Chairperson if employees of the commission were allowed to take part in the auctioning of vehicles, to which Mrs Osei answered: “Mr Chairman, unfortunately I have not done any auction since assuming office and so I will defer the question.”
At that point, a Deputy Chairperson of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Amadu Sulley, explained that “the opportunity is given to staff as a means of motivating them, especially those about to retire or who have retired.”
He said the decision to auction the vehicles was discussed at the commission and further noted that the auction was also made open to the public.
Mrs Osei also told the committee that there were receipts to prove that beneficiaries of the auctioned vehicles had paid in full for the vehicles.
She assured the committee that the amount paid to the auctioneer would later be made available to the committee.
The issue of rejected ballots came up at the PAC hearing and Mrs Osei told the committee that the quantum of rejected ballots reduced by almost 50 per cent in the last election.
She said the EC was in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to educate the public on the right forms of voting, adding that the EC hoped to greatly reduce the incidence of rejected ballots in the 2020 general election.
National Population Council
Taking her turn at the PAC, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, the Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), said Ghana's annual population growth had been pegged between 700,000 and 800,000.
She said Ghana’s population had registered an annual growth of 2.5 per cent for the past 30 years, representing a percentage higher than the global growth rate of 1.5 per cent.
Dr Appiah further told the committee that the dependent group of Ghana’s population was 41 per cent.
She said the 41 per cent represented people below 15 years, noting that that was high and worrisome for development and needed to be worked on.
End of session
Officials from the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands were also present to answer questions.
Meanwhile, the PAC has adjourned sitting and will communicate the next round of its sittings to the public in due course.