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EC, Bsystems’ data agreement not in breach of privacy laws – Technology Chamber CEO

The Ghana Chamber of Technology has said the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to hand over of voters’ data to a private company at a fee without the consent of the voters may not be in breach of public trust, but it will still look into the agreement.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Derry Dean Dadzie said although one must be informed about the additional usage of their data, it is imperative to put things in perspective and deal with the challenges.

His comment comes on the back of the 2018 Auditor General’s Report on some selected institutions that revealed that the EC gave Bsystems access to voters’ data and the company, in turn, furnished financial institutions with it but it failed to give the EC its 20% commission from the deal between 2016 and 2017.

Some have questioned the possibility of privacy breach but Derry Dean Dadzie says the issue may not qualify as a breach since the data was used in public interest.

“When people have access to your data, they have to understand what their data is going to be used for but also for social good, you have to play within a certain framework. We are still going through the process because this is a matter that just arose and we believe that if there are gaps, we need to fix the gaps but we don’t have to put the cart before the horse. One of the things you don’t want to do is over-regulation,” he said on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday.

The Auditor-General said in response to the adverse findings, management of EC stated that: “There exists a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the commission and Bsystems Limited.”

The commission claimed that it suspended the MoU in the third quarter of 2016 and Bsystems made payment for the first and second quarters in 2016.

However, the Auditor-General, after reviewing the MoU, said it does not constitute a Service Level Agreement.

The Auditor-General said there was also no evidence of the suspension of the MoU as stated by management in their response.

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that management of the EC makes available the contract agreement on the arrangement if any, and recover all outstanding commission due to the Electoral Commission within 30 days from the receipt of the management letter.

It further warned that officers who approved the deal will be surcharged should the EC fail to adhere to the recommendation.

“We recommended to management to furnish the Agreement on the existing contract if any, for our review. We also urged management to recover all outstanding commission due the Electoral Commission within 30 days from the date of the management letter; failing which the contract is should be abrogated and the persons who approved and authorised the transaction, surcharged accordingly,” the report said.

Source: ghanaweb.com
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