A Complaints Panel to settle business disputes under the newly passed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2020 Act (1039) has been inaugurated and charged to put in place appropriate control mechanisms to help address business disputes promptly.
The seven-member panel chaired by Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, a Supreme Court Judge, has other members as Nana Ama Boamah Botchway, Emmanuel Kojo Gyimah, Patrick Mireku, Mrs Stella Addo, Mrs Stella Otema Badu and David Agbale, serving as Secretary.
Among others, the Complaints Panel, is to ensure that complaints of injustice, unfair treatment, corruption, and abuse of office in relation to the bidding process of PPPs are thoroughly addressed with recommendations for discipline or correction made to the PPP Committee.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr John Ampontuah Kumah, who inaugurated the Committee said the PPP Act was passed in December 2020 to set the framework for the development, implementation, and regulation of PPP arrangements between the public sector (contracting authorities) and private sector for the provision of public infrastructure and services.
Dr Kumah said prior to the enactment of PPP Act, PPPs in the country were formally being implemented under the National Policy on Public Private Partnerships from 2011 – 2020.
“The PPP arrangement is an innovative way through which governments around the world, including Ghana can provide public infrastructure and services,” he said.
He said the establishment of this Committee by the Act 1039 was one of the new additions to the institutional and legal framework of PPPs that emanated from stakeholder recommendations and a decade’s experience implementing PPPs under the National Policy.
The Deputy Minister said PPPs, among other benefits, provided an opportunity to improve economic diversity by making the country more competitive in terms of private sector involvement in infrastructure finance and procurement, as well as strengthening infrastructure and service-related enterprises and sectors.
He said the weaknesses such as the level of complexity with PPP arrangements and the requirement for long-term equity financing make them subject to malpractice and corruption.
“It is for this reason that this Committee of diverse expertise is being constituted to ensure that impartial investigation is provided on behalf of the complainants who feel aggrieved by the action or inaction of a contracting authority or private bidders in all arrangements that you would be recommending to the Public Private Partnership Committee based on the assessments of all complaints,” Dr Kumah, said.
He pledged that capacity building programmes would be organised for members of the Committee to equip you to perform your duties.
Justice Lovelace-Johnson in her remarks, said fairness, justice, would be the hallmark of the panel.
“We will work without fear or favour to settle any dispute that will arise in the execution of PPP projects for the benefit of all the parties,” she said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE & CECILIA LAGBA