Digitalization important for transparency – Report

Public sector and private sector institutions have been encouraged to embrace digital tools in their activities in order to increase transparency and productivity. This call was made by practitioners at the launch of a study report titled “Compliance and Digitalisation – How Technology can Foster a Culture of Transparency in Africa”. The event was jointly organized by the Public Procurement Authority and the Alliance for Integrity.

Welcoming participants, Susanne Friedrich, Director of Alliance for Integrity, mentioned that the report describes several technology-enabled efforts that help foster government transparency, and must be leveraged by organisations. She added that as an initiative set up to increase corruption-prevention in the private sector, the Alliance for Integrity recognized the need for businesses to focus on digital tools as a means of ensuring transparency, whilst improving efficiency.

The report is centered on corruption risks in public procurement and opportunities to promote integrity and transparency through digitalization, with a primary focus on developments and initiatives in Ghana and Kenya. The report looks at lessons to be learned from procurement and e-government reforms that have been implemented in Kenya, that can inform planned reforms elsewhere − including in Ghana, where the Alliance for Integrity is active.

Amongst other advantages, the report stated that “countries that move from paper-based procurement to an electronic procurement system can see efficiency gains of more than 10 percent of the procurement volume − if done right. By moving public contracting online, African governments could potentially safe billions of Euros each year, while at the same time stimulating a competitive business environment and enabling citizens to monitor the use of public resources and the implementation of government projects”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority, Adjenim Boateng Adjei, who delivered the keynote address, expressed confidence in digitalization as an enabler for transparent corporate governance. He cited the example of the e-procurement platform that have been developed and being piloted by the Public Procurement Authority as a notable development that would transform public procurement in Ghana.