It seems there is no end in sight for the troubles of the Electoral Commission (EC) as it has emerged that the electoral management body auctioned 40 of its vehicles in 2013 to its members of staff.
Although management of the EC estimated the value of the 40 vehicles at GH¢402,000, a valuer at Intercity State Transport Corporation (STC) valued them at GH¢83,029.
Beneficiaries of the auction included senior staff association of the commission, the drivers union, the local union and the then EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who purchased a 2008 Nissan mini-bus for GH¢2,675.
These came to light when the embattled Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, last week took her turn at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting in Accra.
According to her, 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 which were most manufactured in 2008 ranged between GH¢749 and GH¢3,745.
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.