A Human Rights Court has set August 31 to rule on whether or not government can go ahead and implement its planned single window scheme at the ports from next month.

The case was brought by a clearing agent challenging government’s decision to engage IT Company, West Blue in the scheme.

The ruling would be just a day ahead of the implementation date, Tuesday, September 1.

The case filed by Alexander Afenyo Markin on behalf of the clearing agent Michael Djan was initially thrown out on July 31 but the plaintiff filed a repeat application seeking an injunction on the implementation of the system.

Defending the decision to solely award the contract to West Blue, the Deputy Attorney General Dr. Dominic Ayine argued that Ghana stands to lose millions of Ghana Cedis in revenue because activities at the port would be brought to a standstill if the plaintiff’s application is granted.

For him, the plaintiff was not able to prove to the court that he would suffer any losses or injuries if West Blue is contracted to implement the scheme.

According to Dr. Ayine, government has not erred in the award of the contract because the board of the Public Procurement Authority gave approval adding that “we have made a prima facie case on compliance with the PPA.”

Speaking with joy business after the proceedings Dr. Ayine emphasized that “government is determined and has made it very clear that it will not renew the contracts of the DICs and I want to emphasise that if the DICs are behind this suit they should take this warning from me and from government that we are not going to be cowed by the sub-terrainean tactics that are being deployed.”

He added that government will appeal if the court takes any decision in favour of Kweku Djan because “we think under the law, we have complied with sole-sourcing provision and so there is no reason why the court should entertain type of action” he stressed.

Lawyer Afenyo Markin markin in his case prayed the court to place an injunction on the process saying section 40 (1) of the Public Procurement Act which deals with Single-source procurement has been breached by government.

He argued that sole sourcing under the law is permissible in exceptional cases and not a norm, and that the contract was awarded to West Blue on the orders of the Chief of Staff.

Mr. Markin challenged government’s communication that the contracts of all the Destination Inspection Companies ends on the 31st of August 2015 saying that of Webfontainne rather expires in 31st October 2015.

He prayed the court not to endorse illegality since the contract awarded was not done with recourse to the Procurement Law.

Speaking with Joy Business after the showdown in the courtroom, Mr. Markin said he had absolute confidence in the court to give a favourable ruling come August 31.

 

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