GACC organises procurement workshop for multi-stakeholders

Accra, The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), in partnership with the Africa Freedom for Information Centre (AFIC)’s Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), has organised a multi-stakeholder workshop on public procurement legislation and open contracting.

The two-day workshop, which deliberated on the use of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), was aimed at equipping participants with skills and needed knowledge that aligns with the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) and its application at all procurement stages.

Among the objectives of the workshop was to train participants on Ghana’s Public Procurement Act and its application in public contracting and service delivery.

The workshop comprised of 60 participants, which was made up of 40 public servants drawn from selected ministries, departments and agencies and 20 representatives from the private institutions and civil society organisations (CSOs); including GACC staff and the media committed to the agenda of open contracting.

The GACC is partnering the AFIC to implement a project titled: Strengthening Disclosure and Citizen Participation to improve Value for Money in Public Contracting in Africa (Ghana), with funding support from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Mrs Beauty Emefa Narteh, the Executive Secretary, GACC, said a study by the World Bank suggests that about 70 per cent of government’s budget goes into procurement, which means that majority of public funds was channeled through procurement.

She said there is the need to monitor government’s procurement processes to ensure transparency.

This is why the GACC is collaborating with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), to deepen participants understanding on how public procurement processes could be made more open to the public, she said.

“We believe that once a chunk of public fund goes into procurement, it is important for us to ensure that procurement is done in a transparent manner,” she said.

“This will enable us to ensure value for money for Ghana so that we can make a better impact when it comes to our development”.

Mrs Narteh said there is the need to get more local resources to support the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda adding that we can only get it if we put a lot of emphasis on preventing leakages, where people take advantage of the system.

She said if 70 per cent of the national budget goes into procurement and Ghanaians are able to seal the leakages in procurement, it means that they are going to protect that chunk of public money that would go into procurement and it would enable them to save to be able to address other development challenges.

Madam Faustina Djabatey, the Acting Communications Officer, GACC, said the main aim of the project was to increase government’s commitment to the open contracting principles it signed unto under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).

She said the project seeks an open government machinery that discloses information on contracting and public procurement.

Dr Joseph Asunka, Programmes Officer, Hewlett Foundation, said the Foundation seeks to manage a portfolio of grants that supports efforts to increase transparency and accountability in fiscal governance and foster citizen participation to improve social services in developing countries.

Mrs Rhoda Appiah, Chief Manager, Corporate and Facilities Management, said the e-procurement system was to open up government’s procurement system, making it much more accessible to more people and to ensure that the conduct of procurement was done in a transparent and fair manner.

She said the Authority’s mandate is to provide the necessary regulatory structures in terms of guidelines, instructions and rules on how institutions could embark on procurement processes successfully.

Mr Thomas Bondzi, Chief Manager, Information Technology Support Services, PPA, in his presentation on GHANEPS (Ghana Electronic Procurement System), said the web-based collaborative system, was developed in accordance with the requirement of public procurement laws, to facilitate public procurement processes in Ghana.

Mr David Selassie Opoku, the Global Lead, OCP, said an opened procurement system would not only ensure transparency and accountability but also value for money and efficiency in the system.

Source: Ghana News Agency