The report of the Auditor-General on Special Audits carried out on selected state institutions in the year 2018 has made a shocking revelation that the Electoral Commission (EC) has sold the data of voters to a private company for money.
The private company, Bysystem Limited, subsequently, sold the electoral data to financial service providers for a fee, the report said.
Concern about possible breaches of privacy
This revelation by the Auditor-General raises concern about possible breaches of the privacy of Ghanaians who gave their data to the EC.
Data Protection Commission declines comment
When contacted, the Data Protection Commission could not readily tell whether the action breaches provisions of the Data Protection Act or not.
The official told The Finder that they will get a copy of the Auditor-General’s report to read in order to make a determination.
EC, Bysystem Limited agreement
According to the Auditor-General’s report, auditors discovered that Bysystem Limited entered into an agreement with management of the Electoral Commission to have access to electoral data for the company to subsequently provide the electoral data to financial service providers for a fee.
Bysystem Limited to pay 20% of fees to EC
The audit revealed that Bysystem Limited was to pay 20% of the fees collected on quarterly basis to the Electoral Commission.
No Service Level Agreement
However, the Auditor-General said management could not provide the Service Level Agreement between the Electoral Commission and Bysystem Ltd for review.
Bysystem Limited failed to pay EC 20%
The audit report further noted that Bysystem Limited failed to remit the 20% commission due the Electoral Commission for the 2016 and 2017 financial years.
According to the report, the inability to review the principal terms and conditions contained in the contract made it difficult to assure that all the terms have been adhered to.
EC makes claim of MoU
In response to the adverse findings, management of EC stated that, “There exists a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the commission and Bysystem Limited.”
EC claimed it suspended MoU in 2016
The commission claimed that it suspended the MoU in the third quarter of 2016.
EC claimed Bysystem made payments
According to the EC, prior to the suspension, the vendor had made a payment for the first and second quarters in 2016.
EC promised to review existing service agreement
It promised to review the existing service agreement in line with Public Procurement Law.
MoU does not constitute a Service Level Agreement – A-G
However, the Auditor-General, after reviewing the MoU, said it does not constitute a Service Level Agreement.
Basis of 20% commission not in MoU
The report revealed that the basis of the 20% commission is not stated in the MoU.
No evidence MoU was suspended – A-G
Also, the Auditor-General said there was no evidence of the suspension of the MoU as stated by management in their response.
A-G orders EC to recover outstanding commission
Consequently, the Auditor-General recommended that management should make available the contract agreement on the arrangement, if any, and recover all outstanding commission due the Electoral Commission within 30 days from the receipt of the management letter.
Auditor-General to surcharge authorising officers
It warned that failure to do so means the contract shall be abrogated and the approving and authorising officers surcharged.
Source: The Finder