A proposed electronic government procurement system (e-Ghana project) was launched on Monday by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to strengthen transparency in the country’s procurement landscape and improve compliance of the procurement laws.
The project was funded by the World Bank at an estimated cost of $97 million.
Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PPA, addressing stakeholders at the launch of the proposed electronic procurement system in Accra, said it would ultimately ensure efficiency in the delivery of public services and save the public purse.
Outlining some benefits of the system, Mr Adjei said, it would eliminate human elements in the procurement processes, eliminate corruption, collusion and fraudulent practices.
He said it formed part of the World Bank’s e-Ghana project which started in 2011.
He said in 2012 the PPA initiated an international competitive bidding process to select a consultant to assist them with the establishment of the e-governance system.
In July 2016, he said the European Dynamics, an information technology solution provider firm headquartered in Greece was selected as the application service providers and a contract was signed with them on May 26 this year.
He said a three-member team from European Dynamics were in the country from July 10 to 14, to demonstrate how the proposed system would work and conduct requirement discussions.
According to him, the PPA would implement the e-procurement component of the e-Ghana project estimated at a cost of six million dollars.
Mr Adjei noted that the Ministry of Communications was hosting and facilitating the entire e-Ghana project otherwise known as the e-transform project.
He stated that the project would also connect other public institutions such as the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Office, the Judiciary Service and the Parliament of Ghana as well as other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to enhance transparency and service delivery.
The CEO of the Authority said the e-procurement system would improve public access to procurement information and ensure the availability of procurement functions and transactions.
It would also increase competition and lower transaction cost and increase private business activation and save revenue for the country for infrastructure development, he added.
Mr Adjei noted that it was the first time Ghana had established an electronic centrally-controlled platform for managing public contracts.
“Suppliers are required to register on online platform and will be given unique identification reference numbers to enable them to access the system,” he explained, adding “the qualification and verification of bidders will be done electronically”.
Mr Angelo Hatzikyriacos, the Project Manager of the European Dynamics, said the objective of the project was to provide e-procurement solution and ensure easy access to procurement information.
Currently, he said, the project was at the Transition phase which would take two months to complete before it moved to the Testing and Acceptance phase which would involve establishing support structures, customisation, integration and capacity building for another two months.
He said it would then move to the Piloting phase where six public institutions would be selected to test the system.
Mr Nelson Osae, the Project Coordinator of e-Ghana project, explained that apart from supporting the country’s procurement processes, it would also support the Immigration Service in visa acquisition processes.
In addition, it would help the Judiciary Service in the adjudication of cases in the courts, improve the work of Parliament and enhance information management of the University of Ghana with the ultimate aim of ensuring efficient delivery of services.