Business News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Source: Graphic online
The Minister-designate for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, says his ministry will not tolerate unwarranted sole sourcing of government contracts by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Answering questions before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Saturday, he said the Finance Ministry would take steps to avoid emergency situations that called for sole sourcing of contracts.
Where necessary, he said, the ministry would not allow sole sourcing of contracts by a particular government institution to exceed a certain limit.
Under a sole-sourcing regime, there is no competitive bidding — only one vendor is given a contract to provide an item or service.
Mr Ofori-Atta said even though sole sourcing was allowed in law, it must come under certain clear guidelines.
According to him, once steps were taken to prevent emergency situations that necessitated the need to give out contracts on sole-sourcing basis, the phenomenon would be reduced drastically.
“Those guidelines must be followed. We should get to a point of not having emergency situations to be able to plan properly and, therefore, not force ourselves into sole sourcing,” he added.
For instance, Mr Ofori-Atta said, in countries such as Rwanda, public officials did not do sole sourcing because the consequences were swift.
“That would be the kind of public protection we would want to see in the country,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta further indicated that the ministry would look at the magnitude of sole sourcing in the country to ensure value for money.
“Once we see that the figures are worrisome, we will begin to look at the values to see whether we are getting value for money,” he said.
The Finance Minister-designate also observed that the country spent more than it earned, saying, “If you spend more than you earn, you get into trouble. And if the spending is on consumption, not investment, you will get into even bigger trouble.”
He gave an assurance that the government would contain its spending to stabilise the economy.
“We have to cease and desist from that (spending) to get some stability,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the Ministry of Finance would take measures to ensure professional accountability to protect the public purse.
Besides, he said, the government would look at refinancing the country’s fiscal performance to boost investor confidence.
He said the government intended to double revenue generation through taxes and other sectors.
For instance, he said, the government would create the stimulus to encourage companies and individuals to pay taxes.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the government would stand by the five per cent threshold that it could borrow from the Bank of Ghana annually which was passed by the Sixth Parliament.
He said although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wanted zero financing from the Central Bank, he felt that every country should have a window to be able to borrow from the bank.