Business News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) with the support form World Bank has introduced an electronic government procurement platform to deal with fraud in public procurement processes.
The system, dubbed ‘e-Ghana project’ (eGP), is expected to strengthen transparency in the country’s procurement landscape, improve compliance of the procurement laws as well as inflating of contract figures among suppliers and procurement officers.
The project was funded by the World Bank at an estimated cost of $97million.
Speaking at the maiden inception meeting for the development of the system, Chief Executive of PPA, Adjenim Boateng Adjei, stated that the system is linked to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) system where tax compliance of suppliers that bid for government contracts would be verified.
Outlining some benefits of the system, he said, it would eliminate human elements in the procurement processes, eliminate corruption, collusion and fraudulent practices.
He said it formed part of the World Bank’s e-Ghana project which started in 2011.
He said in 2012, the PPA initiated an international competitive bidding process to select a consultant to assist them with the establishment of the e-governance system.
In July 2016, he said the European Dynamics, an information technology solution provider firm headquartered in Greece, was selected as the application service providers and a contract was signed with them on May 26 this year.
Adjei said PPA’s investigations revealed there have been corrupt activities in the procurement process which the system has been introduced to get rid of.
“With this system, all suppliers need to do is to just register and the verification will be done electronically to ensure transparency. Also with this new system, no procurement officer can tamper with the tender process until the time for tender has elapsed,” he further explained.
The CEO reiterated the system has benefits in three categories – governance, efficiency and economy. In terms of governance, the eGP strengthens transparency, provides proper assets, contains public procurement transactions, and encourages high compliance levels.
It will allow buyers to define demands, advertise and perform online competition and centrally manage contracts.
To promote efficiency, the system is meant to provide clear specifications, ensure easy registration and lower costs, according to a PPA bulletin in 2013.
The implementation of the eGP began in 2011 and is consulted by European Dynamics, a software developer and information technologies service provider that operates internationally. European Dynamics recently implemented the same system in Zambia.
The Technical Economic Advisor at the Office of the Vice-President, Dr Gideon Boako, added that the new system will enable the government to centrally track the procurement process in the country.
He explained that the system will also reduce the cost of doing business within the government sector.
Angelo Hatzikyriacos, the Project Manager of the European Dynamics, said the objective of the project was to provide e-procurement solution and ensure easy access to procurement information.
Currently, he said, the project was at the Transition phase, which would take two months to complete before it moved to the Testing and Acceptance phase which would involve establishing support structures, customisation, integration and capacity building for another two months.
He said it would then move to the Piloting phase where six public institutions would be selected to test the system.
Nelson Osae, the Project Coordinator of e-Ghana project, explained that apart from supporting the country’s procurement processes, it would also support the Immigration Service in visa acquisition processes.
In addition, it would help the Judiciary Service in the adjudication of cases in the courts, improve the work of Parliament and enhance information management of the University of Ghana with the ultimate aim of ensuring efficient delivery of services.
The eGP is part of the e-Transform Ghana Project implemented by the Ministry of Communications (MOC). According to the MOC website, e-Transform Ghana will use information technologies to remodel service operations for government agencies.