GIPS criticizes Procurement Act

…says it intensifies corruption

Despite the growing recognition of the strategic importance of sourcing and procurement in accordance with the country’s Public Procurement Act, (Act – 2003 (Act 663), most procurement processes in Ghana, have become a major source of corruption.

The phenomenon, which is widely attributed to the failure of corporate governance principles in the public sector, have had major effects in terms of financial loss to the state, as almost US$1.5 billion was lost to SOEs financial mismanagement between 2012 and 2014.

But the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS) has explained that the country’s woes with regards to corruption in procurement processes will linger due to loopholes in the procurement act.

In current practice, members of the Public Procurement Board are appointed by the President of Ghana, acting in consultation with the Council of State while the tenure of the Board is also determined by the President.

The Chairmen of all Entity Tender Committees are also Presidential appointees and hold allegiance to the President.

Though there are Boards at the Central Management Agency, the Ministries, Subvented Agencies, and all Regional Co-ordinating Councils among others, all these Boards derive their power from the President.

This trend, GIPS alleges, has marred the system with corruption and financial irregularities in the public sector for several years.

Speaking at the induction of ceremony for newly admitted members of the GIPS in Accra, a former President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and hugely respected corporate icon, Dr. Ishmael Yamson, described the country’s Procurement Act, as a recipe for chaos.

“The tendency that the President would appoint a party faithful to be a member of the board is high and that could breed corruption,” he said.

Corruption in procurement Dr. Yamson however explained is not only in the public sector, as the canker is very much rooted in the private sector.

“After all, the contracts are signed between Ghana Government and its entities and private sector firms. The construction of the now Jubilee House which cost Ghana an arm and a leg was signed between a private company and the Government of Ghana while the Ameri Agreement was equally signed between a private company and the Government of Ghana. So the private sector is as guilty as the public sector, when it comes to corruption in public sector procurement,” he noted.

At the ceremony, nine members were inducted as Fellows, 47 as Full Members, and 61 as Associate members.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe