Adwoa Safo Warns Procurement Looters

The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, has issued a warning to all public and civil servants involved in procurement processes in their respective institutions to be mindful of the Public Procurement Act since any breach of the law would attract severe sanctions.

With particular reference to sole-sourcing, she said, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, state looting through the abuse of such method is “now a thing of the past as all efforts are being made to investigate and bring closure to some of these issues”.

Word of caution

She sounded this word of caution while addressing ministers of state, heads of civil service, chief executive of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and professionals of the procurement and supply chain at a summit in Accra last Tuesday.

This year’s event, which was organised by the Procurement and Supply Chain Department of the Civil Service, was on the theme: ‘‘Effective procurement as a tool for job creation.’’

“I must sternly warn that whoever will be found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” Ms Safo emphasised.

Abuse of procurement methods

Commenting further, Ms Safo, who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Parliament of Ghana, said the government, mindful of the abuse of the procurement methods, especially sole-sourcing, would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the right structures were in place to allow for the proper functioning of public procurement in the country.

“My ministry will keep collaborating with all state actors in the procurement and supply chain environment, including the Public Procurement Authority, the Civil Service, the Local Government Service, the government and all stakeholders to ensure that training and skills development are an integral part of policy,” she posited.

She used the occasion to remind the gathering about some amendments made to the Public Procurement Act of 2003 (Act 663), noting that the changes were meant to provide for decentralised procurement which includes new provisions from the revised United Nations Commission on International Trade Model Law (UNCITRAL) on procurement.

It also includes provisions for fair, equal and equitable treatment of suppliers and contractors and the promotion of integrity and public confidence in the procurement process.

Such amendments, the minister of state added, took account of current international best practices to remove the delays caused by the hierarchical structures of the procurement system and improve public procurement efficiency.

“The Public Procurement Amendment Act of 2016 addresses weaknesses in the current Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and introduces sustainable public procurement framework in contracting and electronic procurement,” she explained.