News | NCA loses appeal, KelniGVG contract put on hold

NCA loses appeal, KelniGVG contract put on hold

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General News of Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Alla Ursula OwusuUrsula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications

A Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by the National Communications Authority (NCA), seeking to delay the implementation of an order preventing the Authority from entering into any third party contracts.

This development means the government would be in contempt of court it continues to implement the Common Platform for revenue monitoring, for which it has awarded a contract to a controversial KelniGVG worth $89 million.

According to Citi News’ Fred Djabanor, the court has also awarded costs of GHc 2,000 against the government entities.

In December 2017, Subah Infosolutions dragged the NCA and the Ghana Revenue Authority to court over the termination of a similar service agreement from 2015.
Subah contended that the termination was unlawful.

Pending the determination of the substantive case, Subah was also granted an application for an injunction on the award of contracts to third parties by the NCA in February 2018.

The implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.

Background

Subah was contracted in 2010 under the Mahama administation to provide real-time monitoring of telco billing systems for revenue assurance on behalf of the GRA.
The company was required to connect telcos to a billing system for the monitoring.

In 2013, it emerged that between 2010 and 2012, Subah was paid over GHc74 million allegedly for no work done.

There was supposedly no evidence of any incremental revenue discovered by Subah to warrant any payments.

Subah, however connected the telcos in May 2014 when its contract was due to expire in May 2015.

But prior to the expiry date, GRA renewed the contract on April 11, 2015 for another one year, renewable for five more years.

This was after Subah and others had lost a bid to operate an Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) to Afriwave Telcom Ltd.

When the New Patriotic Party came into power in January 2017, it held a stakeholder conference on the Common Platform implementation and the outcome of the consultation process was for the NCA to amend the ICH Licence to restrict them to clearinghouse operations and for GRA to abrogate the contract with Subah.

“Prior to this new arrangement [deal with KelniGVG], all relevant stakeholders were made aware of the fact that previous contractors’ services, namely that of Subah Info solutions and Afriwave relating to traffic and revenue assurance monitoring were in effect, TERMINATED,” the government explained previously.

“After the forum, a new procurement process was launched in accordance with the law, to select a suitable vendor to meet the requirements defined by the NCA and GRA, and in December 2017, the contract was awarded to a Ghanaian entity, duly registered under the laws of the Republic of Ghana called KelniGVG Limited.”

KelniGVG controversy

Before today’s appeal was dismissed, the contract granted KelniGVG was already under immense scrutiny.

IMANI Africa sounded an alarm over the details of the deal and called for its termination.

The President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, argued that the deal mirrored the controversial deals the state entered into with Subah and Afriwave.

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By Genny Smith 10/07/2018 08:21:00