Mrs. Agnes Boobe-Inyuur Mwaawaaru, Headmistress of Ullo Senior High School, Jirapa, in the Upper West Region, has called for the decentralisation of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), to engender public interest and ensure effective participation.
She made the suggestion at the 7th Annual Public Forum of the Public Procurement Authority, on the theme ,“Taking new strides to transform Ghana’s public procurement landscape: Your role, my role”, in Accra, yesterday.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Madam Mona Quartey, who represented the sector Minister, Mr. Seth Terkper, said that pragmatic plans had been advanced to remove the bottlenecks associated with procurement.
Madam Quartey said: “If the proposed amendments are passed by Parliament, existing hierarchical structures within the public procurement system, which cause undue delays are going to be adjusted and also make way for decentralised procurement in line with the Decentralisation Policy of Government.”
The proposed amendments will also address challenges identified in the implementation of Act 633 and introduce other initiatives like framework contracting and electronic procurement.”
The forum focused on the proposals for the amendment of the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663) with emphasis on the proposed approval thresholds, new procurement structures and the re-categorisation of entities, including other new international best practices such as the Framework Agreement, Sustainable Public Procurement, Electronic Government Procurement.
According to Madam Quartey, all tender review boards with the exception of the Central Tender Review boards would be dissolved and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would have to work towards the Central Tender Review Committee whilst the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), too, would have regional tender review committees to review all their procurement activities with reference to the new thresholds.
The move is aimed at reducing excessive administrative costs and enhancing efficiency.
Madam Quartey, however, said the “Public Financial Management Reforms (PFMR) Strategy 2015-2018 with its key public procurement interventions,” has been put in place.
These are, the enforcement of requirements for MDAs & MMDAs to prepare their annual procurement plans as part of budget preparation and approval processes, review of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
Mr. Terkper urged civil society organisations to collaborate with the government to ensure accountability and transparency in all public procurement processes.
The Chief Executive Officer of PPA, Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, assured that “the team at PPA remains resolute to ensure that public procurement in Ghana is carried out in fair, transparent and accountable manner and attain value for every pesewa spent”.
By Castro Zangina-Tong