The Electoral Commission says its officers benefitted from cars auctioned to the public in 2013 at give-away prices as a way of motivating its staff.
Deputy Chair of the Commission Amadu Sulley said even though there was no official policy covering the auction processes at the Commission, it was decided that retiring staff and those already on retirement could benefit from the auction process.
He was responding to queries from the 2015 Auditor General’s report which cited the Commission for auctioning 40 vehicles in a manner that breached the auction process.
The Commission according to the report raised only ¢83,000 from the auction of the 40 vehicles but failed to provide the list of the vehicles so auctioned.
It was therefore difficult for the Auditor General to ascertain the make of the vehicles when they were purchased and the level of depreciation.
There was also an issue as to who must benefit from the auction of public vehicles.
For a Commission recently troubled with infighting by its commissioners, it was a delight to see the Chairperson of the Commission Charlotte Osei sitting neck-to-neck with one of her Deputies, Amadu Sulley sharing the same microphone and whispering into each other’s ears from time to time.
They were, in unison, responding to grilling questions from members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, questions that emanated from the Auditor General’s report for 2015.
On whether the Commission had a policy on auction, the Chairperson gave a back pass to her Deputy Amadu Sulley to answer because she was not present when the cars were auctioned and has not also auctioned any equipment ever since she was appointed in 2015.
Amadu Sulley intervened with the explanation that the unwritten auction policy was for the staff of the Commission to buy some of the disposed of vehicles as a way to motivate them.
Interestingly, a member of the Commission submitted a list of vehicles and beneficiaries of the auction in 2013, something that was not made available to the Auditor General when he was conducting the audit.
Per the list provided by the EC official, a number of vehicles bought in 2007 were auctioned at prices ranging from 1,000-3,000 cedis.
A Peugeot Boxer Mini Bus bought in 2007 at a cost of 96,015.94 was sold in 2013 at 3,745.00.
A Nissan Hard body Pick Up bought in 2007 at 18,483 were sold in 2013 at 1,926.00.
A number of staff also benefitted from the auction sale including former Chairperson, Kwadwo Afari Gyan.
Another staff, Christiana Bosompem also bought a vehicle about 2,000 cedis and later topped up with 140.00. It is not clear which vehicle it was when it was purchased and at what price.
When asked if these vehicles were properly valued, the Chairperson Charlotte Osei said the STC valued the vehicles.