Breach of procurement laws worsening corporate governance structure of SOEs

Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister

Disregard for the country’s Procurement and the Financial Management Act has led to loss of billions of money in the last few years.

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has argued that corporate governance structures of most SOEs have been disoriented as a result of willful and ignorance of the law in regard to financial and procurement rules.

The Auditor-Generals report from 2012-2014 indicated that about US$1.5 billion was lost to non-adherence of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to the procurement and financial management laws.

Instructively Ghana went to IMF for a programme that gave the country about US$918 million to remedy the situation.

The Senior Minister, however told the Goldstreet Business that, the story would have been different if the country had prudently managed its finances in the last few years.

“Maybe, we wouldn’t have gone to the IMF for that programme which has affected us in diverse ways,” he noted.

Non-conformance to the procurement and the financial management act by directors of SOEs has been a trend perpetuated for long, either done willfully or ignorantly.

But Mr. Osafo Marfo emphasized, “either case, it’s no excuse. It is a crime that is prosecutable and the Auditor-General has the support of the law to prosecute culprits who ignore the procurement law.”

The Senior Minister was speaking at a Public Financial Management Workshop hosted by Trust Consult in Accra.

“It is important for managers of government financed institutions to familiarize with the law, be updated with the law and adhere to it,” he said.

CEO of Trust Consult, Mr. Charles Mensa said irregularities in the tax, cash, loans, procurement, and the rent sector from 2012-2017 has soared significantly.

He however said the irregularities in the rent sector has been declining due to the deduction of withholding tax on rent.

The procurement sector, he disclosed had seen gradual growth except 2017 where there was a dip. He said the phenomenon may largely be attributed to education or constant reminders from the media on the country’s procurement processes.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe