PPA saves GH¢1.9 billion for govt

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has over the last 21 months accrued more than GH¢1.9billion to government, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei has disclosed.

According to him the amount represents savings made on government awarded contracts following the introduction of a number of initiatives to enhance the operations of the authority which resulted in the establishment of due diligence and value for money unit.

“I am pleased to announce to you that the PPA as a result of the introduction of these initiatives has in the space of 21 months (between April, 2017 and December 2018) made savings to the tune of GH¢1.9 billion to the Ghanaian economy which literally means that, this amount of money has been freed to finance other areas of the economy,” he emphasized.

Mr Adjei disclosed this when the PPA took its turn at the “The Meet Press” series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday.

He said the said amount were monies which ordinarily would have been lost to the state due to the overpriced and bloated nature of some of the public contracts awarded to individuals and private organisations.

The CEO explained that per their mandate, the authority was in the business of preventing the waste than recovering, stressing that “These are savings that have been made prior to signing on the contract.”

Citing example on how the savings were made, he said in 2018 the Ghana Cocoa Board made a single source application to enable it use that method to procure agrochemicals for the 2019 farming year.

He said in that particular application, COCOBOD requested a total of 1,225,000 litres of the chemicals at the cost of $46,191,500 and 9,285,000 Euros to cover 4,802,249 hectares of farmlands.

However, following the due diligence exercise the PPA ended up approving only 1.2 million litres at the cost of $45,339,000 and 7,425,000 Euros to cover 5,160,327 hectares of farmland.

Mr Adjei noted that in spite of the fact that the coverage of farmland increased, an amount of $4,732,230.00 which would had been lost to the state was saved.

He said a random investigations conducted by the newly established Special Procurement Investigation Unit into the activities of entities revealed a number of anomalies.

These anomalies according to him included; tender rigging, tender suppression, complimentary tendering, tender rotation, market and customer allocation as well as low balling.

In compliance with provisions of the Act as amended, he said the PPA had rolled out a comprehensive training programme on contract administration aimed at equipping staff of the entities with skills to ensure that contracts they sign were properly implemented with very little or no variations.

“In our attempt to address the seeming challenges facing supply chain professionals to be able to effectively manage the procurement activities of entities, the Authority found the need to partner with an institution with the requisite expertise and experience to join forces to develop a comprehensive competency and certification programme,” he added.

Despite the successes chalked, Mr Adjei said the journey had not been that rosy as it was faced with myriads of challenges with its operations.

“For instance, the lack of funding for our programmes and activities and delays experienced with fund releases even where prior approval for Government of Ghana (GoG) funds have been secured results in delays in programme implementation and the performance of critical regulatory functions,” he outlined.

He said it was unfortunate that such an important state agency would depend on donor funds to run most of its programmes within the dictates of the donors’ terms and pace.

By Cliff Ekuful

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