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EOCO Clears BoG of Breaches in Interoperability Contract

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The Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) has cleared the Bank of Ghana (BoG) of any impropriety during the contract award for the much talked about Mobile Money Interoperability Platform.

Investigation comes after one of the companies which lost the bid, Vals Intels Limited petitioned EOCO on alleged procurement administrative breaches.

The disgruntled bidder had alleged that there was a breach by statutory duty to ensure that the tender was duly processed by the procurement unit.

But EOCO’s finding revealed the BoG acted within its mandate in the award of the contract.

The report by EOCO was made available on Joy FM’s News File, on Saturday.

“…The BoG complied with its statuary duty by ensuring that the tender was duly processed by the procurement unit and evaluated by an appropriate evaluation panel,” the EOCO report read.

The BoG was also accused of a breach of statutory duty to review and refer to the Central Tender Review Committee for a concurrent approval of the purported award to Sibtons Switch Systems Limited.

According to the petitioners, the amount of $4.6million on which the contract was awarded was way over and above the permissible approved thresholds and limits of both the Head of Entity and the BoG’s Entity Tender Committee.

But EOCO found that the threshold limit for the procurement fell within the BoG Governor’s approval limit and it did not require any concurrent agreement from the Central Tender Review Committee.

“The threshold limitation for the governor by the second schedule of the law was 100,000 for procurement of services. The contract price for this procurement is Gh0.00 as stated under the contract. Hence falls within the government’s approval limits,” investigations revealed.

On counts that the BoG had not conducted technical and financial evaluation of the tenderers in accordance with the procedures and criteria set out in the tender invitation documents, EOCO said the Central Bank had done all technical and financial appraisals.

According to EOCO the petitioners may not have understood what was being sought for and thus the petition to investigate alleged wrongdoings.

Aside the issues of improprieties, the cost of the interoperability platform continues to differ depending on the political stand.

Deputy Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said government procured the new contract at the cost of $ 4.5miilion saving the nation, unnecessary cost.

“You get to a point when you look at this whole arrangement and you want to ask yourself, should this be renewed or not and the Bank of Ghana went through all the processes…all they asked for was a reinjection of about 4.5million…that 4.5 million dollars is not for the mobile component only. It is for an upgrade of their systems; a bit of infrastructure…it does a lot more,” he noted.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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