The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, has asked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to go to every length to ensure openness and transparency in procurement processes of the assemblies.
They must resist any temptation to inflate procurement invoices, sole-sourcing, buying from companies which did not issue valued added tax (VAT) receipts and not deducting withholding taxes.
He added that they should not engage in any irregularities – doing things that could have dire financial implications for the economy.
Mr. Osei-Mensah was speaking at the opening of a day’s training workshop organized by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for MMDCEs, heads of public institutions and agencies, procurement officers, finance officers, auditors and store keepers in the region.
The goal was to help them to have better understanding of the policy direction of the PPA, to bring efficiency.
The Minister indicated that corruption in public procurement had had serious consequences for the nation and said it was time things were done right – measures put in place to ensure compliance with the public procurement law.
He encouraged them to do everything to keep themselves abreast of the spirit and letter of the law to avoid running into conflict with the law.
Mr. A.B Adjei, Chief Executive Officer of PPA, said the objective of the law was to achieve more transparency and efficiency in public procurement in Ghana.
He stated that appropriate steps had been taken to stop wanton sole-sourcing and restricted tender process, which resulted in massive corruption.
He said to help promote fairness and transparency, two new Units – Due Diligence/Value for Money and Procurement Audit had been created.
Mr. Adjei also spoke of the introduction of an electronic procurement system and said this was going to be piloted at the Cocobod, Ghana Health Service, Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Department of Feeder Roads and Koforidua Technical University.
The PPA Zonal Offices in Kumasi and Takoradi were also being strengthened to monitor all public procurement activities in the regions.
He underlined the determination of the Authority to work with passion and integrity to protect the public purse.