Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday launched the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) to enhance fairness, efficiency and transparency of public procurement processes.
The online platform designed by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in partnership with the European Dynamics, formed part of the World Bank’s e-Transform Project and would minimize corruption and human interface in the public procurement procedures in the public sector.
Consequently, it would increase productivity of service providers, reduce manual works and improve government’s drive towards digitizing and modernizing the Ghanaian economy to speed up economic growth.
The e-Procurement refers to the process of purchase and sale of goods or services through electronic methods, primarily the Internet.
It is an alternative to the manual process of procurement, and is certainly superior to the latter in many respects.
The World Bank signed a $97 million financing agreement with Ghana in 2014 towards the implementation of the e-Ghana Procurement Project.
At the official launch of the e-Procurement System in Accra, Vice President Bawumia, in a keynote address, said 660 public entities would be initially enrolled onto the system from today.
While 34 ministries, departments and agencies would be hooked on the platform from June this year, and continued until 2020.
According to Dr Bawumia, the platform would improve value for money, ensure timely declaration of goods and services and enhance coordination and competitiveness of bidding for public contracts.
Vice President Bawumia said the system would eradicate middle men popularly called the “Goro Boys” from the procurement processes.
He said the system would complement other programmes being rolled out by government since it assumed office in 2017.
He mentioned government’s “soft infrastructure” such as the paperless ports system, smart vehicle registration, digital property address system, national identification system, mobile money interoperability and e-business registration, which would formalize the economy towards achieving the “Ghana beyond aid” agenda.
He said Ghana was the first country in West Africa to have rolled out a e-Procurement System and, thus, made the country a leader in the Sub-region in terms of innovation.
The Vice President reiterated government’s commitment to implement e-Procurement that would minimize corruption, since about 90 percent of public corruption could be attributed to procurement procedures.
“Now the tender boxes will be a thing of the past because your computer is your tender box and ‘goro boys’ will lose their jobs,” he emphasized.
Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei, the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the PPA, in his welcome address, noted that after nearly seven years of the e-Ghana Procurement Project started, the Akufo-Addo’s administration had shown extra determination to transition key Fiduciary institutions from manual operations to digital systems.
He said the Government’s zeal motivated him to sign a contract with the European Dynamics in May 2017 to rekindle the e-GP Project and kicked started the operationalisation of the novelty system.
“We at the Authority are keen to see to the full and complete implementation of this system across all the public entities as part of the measures to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency in the procurement landscape in the country,” Mr Adjei emphasized.
He said the PPA had redesigned its website which is user-friendly and easy to navigate and thus, commended all entities that supported such a laudable initiative.