W/B implements new framework for projects

Ing.Ashong(standing)making a presentation on the project.  Photo. Maxwell K. BilsonThe World Bank is implementing a New Procurement Framework (NPF) for projects the bank is financing, the Senior Operations Officer for Ghana and the African Region, Beatrix Allah Mensah has announced.

The move, she said, was to ensure value-for-money, transparency, integrity and efficiency in the execution of the projects the bank was financing.

As part of the new requirements of the NPF, clients of the World Bank would have to prepare a Project Procurement Strategy for Development (PPSD) for every investment project they intend to participate in.

The PPSD, the World Bank explained, should explain the procurement approach and processes the implementing agency would use in procuring goods and services for the project.

Speaking at an information session in Accra yesterday to introduce  the NPF  to the Bank’s clients, Ms Mensah said the NPF which takes effect from July 1, this year was developed after extensive consultation in almost 100 countries with government, private sector, civil society and academia over a period  of three years.

She explained that the PPSD was mandatory and would be applied to new projects that the Bank would finance, saying the World Bank will not finance any project that was not PPSD compliant.

Ms Mensah said the decision to introduce the PPSD was to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty, which were the core values of the Bank.

The Senior Operations Officer said the World Bank was currently financing 24 projects in Ghana in the areas of Education, Fisheries and Transport, to the tune of more than $2 billion.

In addition, she said the World Bank was financing five regional projects and was also providing grants to support the country’s developmental projects.

“For the first time, Ghana recorded a disbursement ratio of 32 per cent and this is a feat we should all be proud of,” Ms Mensah said and indicated that the country’s performance was above the Africa Region disbursement ratio of 20 per cent and the World Bank global disbursement ratio of 19 per cent.

The Senior Procurement Specialist at the World Bank, Charles J.A Ashong said the NPF has been relaxed for the government to contract civil servants in implementing World Bank projects provided the Civil Service laws allow and did not create a conflict of interest.

He also said State-Owned Enterprises could also bid for World Bank projects provided they have financial autonomy and the law establishing them allows that.

Mr Ashong explained that the on-going projects as well as projects at advanced stages of preparation will continue to use the existing procurement policy to avoid delays.

By Kingsley Asare & Aba Asamoah

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