After spending at least €8million on a digital platform that was not working, the National Lottery Authority (NLA) has reportedly turned to one of its board members, Kojo Graham to award a new contract.
The award of the contract has raised concerns about conflict of interest situation as Mr Graham explained the circumstances under which the deal was made.
"We were having serious challenges with that…as a board, we were challenged on how we were going to address the problem," he told Kojo Yankson host of Joy FM's Super Morning Show Wednesday.
Mr Graham who joined the Board in 2011 said the NLA engaged a French company to provide a digital platform used for lottery operations.
Kojo Graham said after the €8million Euro product failed to deliver, the NLA was unwilling to spend any money to get a new service provider.
Several companies submitted a bid for the award of a new contract. But Kojo Graham's company Lot Company Ltd won the contract in 2013, two years after he had joined the Board.
Kojo Graham was incidentally the Chairman of the Tender Committee that examined the various bids.
The Tender Committee Chairman explained why his company won the bid.
"Lot Services won the day because it was a no-money-down arrangement," he said and explained the NLA was not going to invest "one pesewa" into the provision of the service.
His company was to raise at least $1.5million for the project. "The only thing the NLA was to bring to the table was the statutory monopoly over lottery and also they had retailers that they could sell to."
Kojo Graham said he was very critical in finding the money to execute the contract. In a letter to the NLA, Kojo Graham makes a disclosure of conflict of interest.
Corruption School segment of Corruption Watch discusses conflict of interest
Legal practitioner Clara Kasser-Tee explained four general instances where a conflict of interest arises.
- Where a person uses money or property belonging to the organisation for personal advantage.
- Where a person uses confidential or special information that a person obtained in their capacity as a public officer to their personal advantage
- Being interested directly or indirectly in a business that competes with the business that competes in the organisation that you work in.
- Being interested directly or indirectly in a contract or other transaction entered into by the organisation.
She zoomed in on point two and asked if Kojo Graham as a Board member, made use of special or confidential information?
Did he make full disclosure of his Lot Services Company to the Board and to the Tender committee which he chaired"?.
Did Kojo Graham take part in the debate, discussions or voting over which of the bidding companies deserved the contract?
She said the Board member may have to consider giving up his public positions at the NLA to cure the possibility of a conflict of interest.
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