General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
The Minister of State in-charge of Public Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has issued a warning notice to all public and civil servants involved in the procurement processes in their respective institutions to be mindful of the Public Procurement Act since any breach of the law would attract severe sanctions.
With particular reference to sole-sourcing, she said under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the era when state looting through the abuse of such method is “now a thing of the past as all efforts are being made to investigate and bring closure to some of these issues.”
Ms Safo emphasized, “I must sternly warn that whoever will be found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
She sounded this word of caution when addressing colleague ministers, head of civil service, chief executive of the Public Procurement Authority and professionals of the procurement and supply chain at a summit in Accra last Tuesday.
This year’s event, which was organized by the Procurement and Supply Chain Department of the Civil Service, was under the theme, ‘Effective procurement as a tool for job creation.’
Commenting further, Ms Safo, who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Parliament of Ghana, said the government, mindful of the abuse of the procurement methods, especially, sole-sourcing, would leave no stone unturned to ensuring that the right structures are in place to allow for the proper functioning of public procurement in the country.
“My ministry will keep collaborating with all state actors in the procurement and supply chain environment, including the Public Procurement Authority, The Civil Service, the Local Government Service, the Government and all stakeholders to ensure that training and skills development are an integral part of policy,” she posited.
She used the occasion to remind the gathering about some amendments made to the Public Procurement Act of 2003 (Act 663), noting that the changes are meant to provide for decentralized procurement which includes new provisions from the revised United Nations Commission on International Trade Model Law (UNCITRAL) on procurement.
It also includes provisions for fair, equal and equitable treatment of suppliers and contractors and for the promotion of integrity and public confidence in the procurement process.
Such amendments, the minister of state added, take account of current international best practices to remove the delays caused by the hierarchical structures of the procurement system and improve public procurement efficiency.
“The Public Procurement Amendment Act of 2016 addresses weaknesses in the current Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and introduces sustainable public procurement framework contracting and electronic procurement,” she explained.