Ghana saved an amount of GH¢98million in the first nine months of this year due to the introduction of stringent procurement processes.
This, according to the Chief Executive of Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Agyenim-Boateng Adjei, would have otherwise been eroded through padded contract sums and other procurement malpractices.
He said some of these malpractices included a bid or tender rigging which involved collusion among teachers; bid or tender suppression encompassing coercion of competitors to disagree to participation offers among others.
In recent times, public procurement processes have resulted in wanton dissipation of national resources while some individuals have unduly benefited in the process of acquiring products for their organizations at the expense of the nation. This is partly because there were no ethical considerations guiding the actions of purchasing professionals.
Mr. Adjei, speaking at the launch of the launch of the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS) Code of Ethics, said, “unfortunately, the prevailing narrative of non-compliance and corruption in the practice continues to dent the image of the procurement profession.”
He said, “It is even more disheartening to realize that, procurement professionals who are supposed to guide our political leaders to save the public purse, end up conniving with them and sometimes misconducting themselves under the guise of fear of threats of demotion, loss of jobs or regulation to the background in their institutions.”
According to Mr. Adjei, the new PPA, under his leadership is championing the mandatory requirement for all procurement entities to establish Functional Procurement Units which shall be headed and staffed by qualified procurement personnel as provided in Section 19 of the Public Procurement Amendment Act, 2016 (Act 914).
He added, “Procurement Officers and members of GIPS who misconduct themselves in their line of duties and found culpable of any ‘misprocurement’ through PPA’s procurement audits will be made to face sanctions as spelt out in the GIPS Code of Ethics and Conduct in addition to any other legal or disciplinary actions as permitted under our legal regime.”
On his part, the President of the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS), Collins Agyemang Sarpong said there was the need for urgent formulation of a legislation backing to the practice to minimize corruption, and to weed out persons who saw procurement and supply as an avenue to selfishly enrich themselves.
The code of ethics and conduct was initialed by some government officials and some officials of the procurement entities.