Caterers fume over 30% GSFP contract reservation for Otiko

Caterers working with the Ghana National School Feeding Programme, (GSFP) are incensed over what they describe as unfair treatment, the reservation of 30% of school feeding contracts in each district for protocol from the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the 2017/2018 academic year.

They are also unhappy that they’re having to purchase application forms at a cost of GHC 50.00, saying the forms  have in the past never been sold to them.

A letter signed by Acting National Coordinator of the National School Feeding Programme, William Charles Quao and sighted by which details guidelines on caterer selection and contract procedure among other things, said based on a Cabinet decision the application forms must be sold at a cost of GHC 50.00 and accounted to MMCDEs.

The panel to do the selection of caterers should be chaired by an MMDCE and should comprise an Educationist, a health Practitioner, a Caterer nominated by the Gender Minister, two women opinion leaders, with one of the members being selected as a Secretary.

The final selection from the districts which excludes the 30% of protocol, the directive noted, should include; strong women activists, female opinion leaders, other women executives, Queenmothers and members of women groups.

But speaking to Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa FM Monday, Spokesperson of the Caterers, Maame Yaa Doduaa stated that they are shocked by the modalities introduced by government in the running of the School Feeding programme as School Feeding programme is not political.

“This is surprising, this is the first time forms for school feeding programme is being sold to caterers. In the past when the programme is advertized in the Newspapers, then an interested caterer applies and goes for an interview before one is awarded a contract. At the interview, one’s political affiliation is not asked, the caterer is asked about her competence at cooking for a huge number of people and the person’s financial strength because you’ll cook first before you’re paid by government. So we’re suprised by this new modalities being introduced, because for me, from my little education I know that it is illegal for someone to prevent a section of Ghanaians from enjoying something which is meant for every Ghanaian. I guess even the Procument Act doesn’t allow this.

“We’re also surprised this intention of wanting to reserve 30% as protocol was made public, politicising the school feeding programme will cause a lot of problems for the government and the President. We may end up giving contracts to persons affiliated with the ruling party who may not necessarily have the capacity and competence to cook for these kids.” 

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