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E-Procurement system, key to transparency – Ahiadorme

Mr Raymond Ahiadorme, Network Manager Ghana, Alliance for Integrity, has urged African countries to design a comprehensive e-procurement system to ensure transparency and accountability.

He said the system allow for information about the different stages of the procurement cycle to be automatically published on a central platform in machine-readable formats.

Mr Ahiadorme said this at the launch of a report on “Compliance and Digitalisation –How Technology Can Foster a Culture of Transparency in Africa”.

The report examines Ghana and Kenya digital solutions that contributed to better governance in African countries.

The report was based on desk research and interviews conducted with representatives of the private sector, government bodies, donors, think tanks and civil society activists in Nairobi and Accra in November 2017.

He said government contracts accounted for approximately 15 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Ahiadorme said with billions of euro changing hands every year, public procurement created greater temptations and more corruption risks than most other government activities.

He said a 2016 survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity Initiative and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, showed that 64 per cent of respondents stated that in their districts, corruption had increased, while only 6 per cent of respondents saw a decrease in the level of corruption and 18 per cent stated that they did not perceive any change.

He said a nationwide survey conducted in Kenya by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in 2015 showed that, 74 per cent of respondents perceived that the country was suffering from a high level of corruption, compared to 68 per cent in 2012 and 50 per cent in 2010.

The survey also found that the percentage of citizens who paid a bribe when seeking public services dropped from 68.5 per cent in 2012 to 38 per cent in 2015.

Mr Ahiadorme stated that Kenyan government had implemented technology-driven reforms to address corruption risks in the public sector, including the introduction of whistle-blower and complaints mechanisms.

He said the report recommended that social enterprises, civil society organisations and start-ups developing applications may provide innovative services to the public and contribute to improved government accountability.

The report said as governments rely on information and communication technology in their day-to-day operations, there may be opportunities for highly specialised companies to provide services in IT security, software solutions, and data analytics to support oversight bodies and anti-corruption investigations.

Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei, the Chief Executive Officer of Public Procurement Authority Ghana, said the country had rolled out a number of applications such as e-Immigration system, e-Parliament and e-Procurement to ensure transparency in the system.

“For effective growth, there must be a concerted effort to adopt digitisation to effect change and as well increase job opportunities”, he added.

Source: GNA

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