The Electoral Commission (EC), has rubbished claims it exceeded the budget for the conduct of the 2016 General Elections.

The EC was responding to a report in the Daily Graphic attributed to a senior official of the Ministry of Finance, who claimed that the Commission had gone beyond its budget.

The Commission, in a statement stated that it had “worked diligently to operate within the budget that had been agreed with the Ministry and the Special Budget Committee of Parliament.”

The EC explained that, a budget of GHc1.139 billion for the elections was agreed and approved by the Ministry of Finance upon the recommendations and with the involvement of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament, before the 2016 Budget was presented to Parliament.

However, the Ministry of Finance submitted a budgetary ceiling of GHc 800 million to Parliament for approval for the elections.

This was followed by the promise and assurance from the Ministry to Parliament and all stakeholders that the rest of the funding was going to be released to the Commission in due course.

Find below the full statement

We wish to announce that the Government has released an amount of Seventy Million Ghana Cedis (GHc70, 000,000.00) to the Electoral Commission as partial fulfilment of the Commission’s financial requirements for the 2016 general elections. This brings the total financial releases from the Ministry of Finance to the Commission to Eight-Hundred and Seventy Million Ghana Cedis (GHc870, 000,000.00), out of a total budget of One Billion, One-Hundred and Thirty-Nine Million, Eight-Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand, Nine-Hundred and Ninety-One Ghana Cedis (GHc1, 139,885, 991.00).

The budget of GHC1.139 billion Ghana Cedis was agreed and approved by the Ministry of Finance upon the recommendations and with the involvement of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament before the 2016 Budget was presented to the House of Parliament. However, the Ministry submitted a budgetary ceiling of Eight-Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (Ghc800, 000,000.00) to Parliament for approval for the elections in the 2016 Budget. This was followed with the promise and firm assurance from the Ministry, to Parliament and all stakeholders that the rest of the funding will be released to the Commission in due course.

On the basis of this assurance, the Commission worked diligently to operate within the budget that had been agreed with the Ministry and the Special Budget Committee of Parliament. In the light of the foregoing, the recent claim in the Wednesday, January 18, 2017 edition of the Daily Graphic (No.20279) and attributed to a senior official of the Ministry of Finance that the Commission had overrun its 2016 budget is inaccurate.

We would like to assure our vendors, service providers and election officials that the Ministry has by the recent release of the GHc70, 000,000, demonstrated its commitment to honour its promise of meeting the full funding requirements of the Commission for last year’s elections.

We urge our vendors, service providers and election officials to continue to bear with us, as we await the Ministry of Finance to fully honour its promise to release the funds for the payment of their costs and allowances. The Commission appreciates their patience and understanding in this matter.

Thank You

Signed: ERIC KOFI DZAKPASU Head of Communications

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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