E-procurement for public sector institutions is sure way to curb corruption – PPA CEO
Mr. Frank Mante, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), says the adoption of electronic procurement processes by all public sector institutions is the best way to ensure transparency, fairness and value for money in awarding contracts to deserving bidders.
He noted that people would always have interest in awarding contracts and use every means to influence the outcome.
However, with electronic procurement in place, it will help to curtail such influences and manipulations to ensure that the right bidder wins the tender.
He, therefore, admonished senior management members at the various public sector institutions to acquaint themselves with the new electronic procurement system being implemented under the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) to avoid falling victim to procurement infractions.
Mr. Mante gave the advice at the closing ceremony of an eight-day training workshop for some senior management members of Regional Coordinating Councils and Municipal Assemblies in the southern sector of the country, in Accra on Wednesday.
The event brought together some chief directors, municipal chief executives, finance, procurement and internal audit officers from the Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions, to have hand-on training on the new electronic procurement system for the implementation of the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP) being funded by the World Bank.
Under the GSCSP, the PPA signed an agreement with the World Bank in 2019, through the Ministry of Communications’ e-Transform Project, to promote transparency and efficiency in public procurement.
The PPA Boss noted that procurement issues generate a lot of public interest because it concerned the utilisation of public funds or taxpayers’ money, therefore, those given the authority to award contracts must strictly comply with the procurement laws to avoid backlash from the public.
“Under section 92 of the Procurement Act, you could be imprisoned for up to five years or pay 2,500 penalty units or both, if you flout the procurement rules and so it’s a serious matter. I implore you to always seek advice from the procurement experts before granting any contract,” Mr. Mante cautioned the participants.
“In this country, people have been sacked because of procurement infractions, but if you’ll be sacked and go home to have your peace of mind then you will take it like that, but when you have to go to court every day, this is something you have to think about…”Mr. Mante advised.
He said e-procurement would bring enormous benefit to Ghana including harmonising procurement processes, promote transparency, fairness, greater competition for tender, reduce cost and ensuring value for money.
The staff of the PPA, he said, would visit all assemblies to help them enroll in the electronic system and resolve all teething challenges that they may encounter.
Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi, the Municipal Chief Executive Officer for New Juaben South, and a participant at the training workshop, said the training had enhanced his knowledge and understanding on the new electronic procurement system and advised all assemblies to embrace it for their own benefit.
He thanked the Akufo-Addo’s Government for implementing digitalisation initiatives to ensure efficiency in public administration to improve governance.
In all, 40 participants took part in the week-long training workshop at the Accra Digital Centre.
The training of key staff at the regional coordinating councils and assemblies is ongoing across the 16 regions and expected that by 2023, all 53 public entities identified for training under the GHANEPS will onboard electronic procurement system in awarding public contracts.