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President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday gave the assurance that government would strengthen the public procurement law to provide impetus that would ensure accountability and transparency in public contracts.
Under such a strong law, President Mahama said, all public projects would need to go through public tender and selection and to ensure that winners of such contracts were reputable and had the capacity to perform creditably.
President Mahama gave this assurance when he launched the Government–Development Partners Group at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.
The Group is made up the Minister of Finance, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, and Cabinet Secretary on the side of government, while the Development Partners are made up of ambassadors, bilateral and multi-lateral development groups and the Bretton Woods Institutions.
They have the responsibility to monitor government development projects and provide constructive pieces of advice that could expedite the acceleration of the economy and other developmental sectors.
President Mahama said apart from the strengthening of the procurement law, government would also put up effective supervisory and monitoring measures that would help to cut down high and frivolous expenditure, reduce waste in the ministries, departments and agencies and ensure that all efforts were moved towards effective delivery.
The President also denounced the delays in dispatching official documents that would ensure the speedy execution of government projects and gave the assurance that his administration would hold people accountable for unnecessarily delaying such processes.
On gender equity, President Mahama said one of the main reasons for streamlining some ministries, especially that of the Women and Children Affairs into the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, was to ensure that all challenges among women and children were identified and synchronized for action to be taken.
Ambassador Claude Maeten, Leader of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, on behalf of the development partners, appealed to government to build stronger ties with the development partners, re-invigorate the economy to make it robust to create more jobs and tackle gender inequality in the country.
He said Ghana had a good investment environment and that could be transformed into gains only if government intensified supervision, monitoring, transparency and built the capacity of businesses to compete favourably with international competitors.
“First… We were disappointed in the fiscal performance last year, which was an unwelcome of Ghana’s recent history of poor fiscal performance in an election year. Such a deficit creates serious risks for Ghana’s continued success and progress.”
Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, and a member of the Group, attributed the massive development of the country over the years to fortified partnership and expressed the hope that the launch would further raise the cooperation to greater heights.
He gave the assurance that members on the government side would play their roles responsibility for the collaboration to bring mutual benefits to all the partners.