Procurement officers in various government institutions will from 2020 face prosecution, if they are found to have breached the procurement laws.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Frank Mante, said the Authority would commence after an assessment of procurement of all public institutions scheduled to commence early next year.
Although the Authority did not have prosecutorial powers, he said the PPA would collaborate with the Attorney-General’s Department, Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in the prosecution of officers found culpable of a breach of any of the procurement laws.
Speaking at the 9th annual public forum of the Authority, he advised procurement officers to keep proper records to avoid any infractions with the law or suspicions.
It was on the theme, “Functional Procurement Unit: A Key to Sustainable Public Procurement System.”
“The research we undertook revealed that records keeping at the various procurement units at public institutions are taken for granted. From next year, we will commence our annual assessment. I entreat all officers to put their house in order to avoid facing the full rigours of the law,” he added.
Mr Mante said the conduct of annual assessment was part of the mandate of the PPA to ensure compliance of the laws at all levels of the procurement processes and pick out those who flout the laws with impunity.
Through the review of applications for both single source and restrictive tendering procedures, he explained that, the Authority has within the past three years saved the country more than GH¢2.75 million.
In a statement read on her behalf, Minister of Public Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, said the Ministry was developing a code of conduct to guide the practice of procurement in the country.
Currently, a draft document had been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Department and the Ministry of Finance for review after which it would go to Cabinet for consideration and approval.
“The code of conduct is to set the highest ethics and standards for benchmarking procurement practitioners, suppliers, contractors and service providers in accordance with provisions in the Public Procurement Act, 2003. Any practitioner that goes contrary to the code of conduct, when it is finally implemented, will face sanctions,” she added
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 10, which focuses on eradicating poverty in all forms and reduce inequality, she said the Ministry was working on a policy which ensures that at least 30 per cent of government procurements go to companies owned by women, persons with disability and youth to promote inclusiveness, equal opportunity and treatment.
Ms. Safo indicated that the Ministry would create a register which would contain information on past and present performance records of all contractors, consultants and suppliers in order to ascertain their performances abilities and their financial capabilities.
She said contractors, suppliers and service providers who are rated poorly would be suspended or debarred for a specified period to ensure accountability and value for money.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS