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Public institutions in Ghana lack transparency in procurement processes

Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah
Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah

The Public Procurement Authority says,  in 2014, many public entities failed to post their procurement plans, tenders and contract awards on its website as required even though they were trained to do so during the year.

Out of an estimated 1,000 or more entities that made procurement through the Public Procurement Authority’s (PPA) online platform, only 276 posted their procurement plans into the database at the end of 2014.

According to the annual report of the authority, which is mandated by the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) to oversee procurement in the public service, a staggering 121 procurement plans were posted in January 2014, but fell through the year to only 4, posted in December.

Contract awards from open tenders posted on the website amounted to 403, representing a decline of 48.79 per cent from the 2013 figure of 787.

404 restricted tenders were approved in 2014 and 22 were given conditional approval. However, only 147 restricted tender contract awards were posted on the PPA’s website.

The total number of Restricted Tender Contract Awards posted on the website in 2014, represents a 6.37 per cent decline from 157 in 2013.

Speaking at the PPA’s 7th public forum, Samuel Sallas-Mensah, the Chief Executive Officer of the PPA said the Authority redesigned and re-launched its website, and embarked on sensitization which increased the number of visitors and visits to the site.

In addition, the CEO said the PPA began publishing single source contract awards on its website from September 2014,to demystify the perception of potential abuses in single source procurement.

From September 2014 when it was started, about only 165 single source contracts had been posted online with the contract details at the end of December 2014. Meanwhile a total of 211 contracts were approved and 51 were given conditional approval during the period.

Apart from the lack of transparency on the part of public entities, the PPA’s report cites the problem of escalation in project costs due to poor management of contract and procurement records by public entities.

The management also faced a GH₵199,498 shortfall in central government funding from its approved budget, though the figure was a significant improvement from a shortfall of over GH₵2 million the previous year.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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