Managing News Editor of New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, has criticised National Security’s handling of SOFTtribe in the IT firm’s tussle with Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
“I think it is about time the President [Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo] takes a look at the structure [of the National Security Council]…in terms of the chain of command: who does what, when and where and indeed how,” he said on Joy FM/Multi TV’s Newsfile on Saturday.
SOFTtribe, a Ghanaian software developer, and GWCL are in disagreement over alleged problems with the water billing system developed by SOFTtribe.
GWCL has terminated the contract on the grounds that the software was failing to deliver on its purpose but the IT firm said the claim is false.
Heavily armed personnel from the National Security allegedly presented an unsigned court order to confiscate mobile phones and electronic equipment of the company’s staff on Monday.
National Security said it acted on the orders of the GWCL to secure customer data that SOFTtribe had failed to release.
Speaking on the swoop of the IT firm’s office and the confiscation mobile phones of the staff, Mr Baako said he least expected such a move by the National Security since there was a good rapport between an agency under the National Security Council and the local IT firm.
“National Security architecture, in recent times, has come onto the front burner sometimes for wrong reasons. We could cite the Ayawaso West Wuogon incident and the proceedings of the [Justice Emile] Short Commission and the indication that there could be a certain disharmony relative to chain of command and all what has happened subsequent to that…
“[National Security] has to be in a position to clean up some of the doubts and the discrepancies…Somebody somewhere within the National Security architecture might have gotten too over-enthusiastic and ‘pulled the trigger’ and that is what my worry is about,” he said Saturday on the current affairs programme.
Blaming both SOFTtribe and GWCL for the war of words in the media, Mr Baako said the negative publicity that their disagreements generated could have been avoided.
“This whole thing was very untidy. It was avoidable. It lacked finesse. It was needless negative publicity that is detrimental to the reputation of the company, SOFTtribe, the image of National Security and to some limited extent, the Ghana Water Company.
‘If they had all be sober, they had all been dispassionate, will not be sitting here discussing this matter. They would have settled their issues on the quiet. Because even if it was a contractual dispute, I am sure the contract that they signed onto, will have provisions that show how to deal with the issue. I am not aware if they exhausted all those things and then decided that ‘let’s go to town and discuss these things’. It is not right,” he stressed.
SOFTribe and GWCL will on Monday to begin a process to resolve a conflict that has ensued over alleged problems with the water billing software.