Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has issued a statement to address misinformation circulating regarding the procurement of Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) and Biometric Voters Registration Kits (BVRs) in 2020.

The Commission responded to claims made by Mr. Bright Simons and Imani alleging that US$150 million was spent on BVDs, clarifying that such claims are false and misleading.

According to the Commission, the procurement process dates back to June 2018 when the previous administration budgeted and received approval to invest US$56 million for the refurbishment of BVDs and BVRs, along with a Data Centre and Security enhancements. However, the current administration decided to cancel the contract for total refurbishment and opted for minimal maintenance.

In 2020, based on experiences with equipment during the 2019 District Level Elections (DLE), the Commission sought approval to acquire new BVDs, BVRs, a Data Centre, and a Data Recovery Centre. The approved budget for 2020 was compared to the 2018 budget, revealing substantial savings from purchasing new equipment.

The Commission disclosed that it saved Ghana US$57,918,270 by purchasing 74,500 new BVDs and 8,500 new BVRs at a lower cost compared to the previous administration’s planned refurbishments. Additionally, the current administration spent US$6,161,869.69 for a new data centre and recovery centre, saving US$9 million compared to the previous earmarked budget.

Mr. Fred Tetteh, Deputy Director of Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation, emphasized that the Commission urges the public to ignore claims of US$150 million spent on BVDs and BVRs in 2020.

According to him, the total cost for new equipment, including BVDs, BVRs, data centres, and recovery centres, amounted to US$68,661,912.67.

The Electoral Commission seeks to clarify the misinformation and assure the public of its commitment to transparency, fairness, and integrity in all its activities.

Check out the release below: