Public procurement accounts for about 50-70% of imports and about 80% of government expenditure in this country but regrettably, this is the area bedeviled with corrupt practices. Because public funds are used to procure goods, works and services, it becomes a big drain on the nation’s coffers if public officers and for that matter individuals misappropriate the funds meant for development. In this post, we share with you some vital information on public procurement in line with a capacity building workshop organized for Staff and Heads of Departments of Adaklu Ayigbe in the Volta Region.
Definition of Procurement:
What really is procurement? Procurement is defined as the process of obtaining services, supplies and equipment in conformance with the applicable laws and regulations. The Procurement Act, (Act 663) is a legal frame work that ensures uniformity in procurement throughout Ghana, with the view to achieving Value for Money. The Public Procurement Act, Act 663 of 2003 is to streamline public sector procurement of goods, works and services and establish an effective monitoring and tracking system.
Category of Contract or Procurement
The category of contracts or procurement is generally grouped in the following;
Procurement of Goods: This involves the processes of purchasing goods of various types e.g. exercise books, pencils and other office equipment, etc.
Procurement of Service: This may take the form of engaging a company or an individual to perform various services e.g. consultancy services for capacity building of Assembly staff.
Procurement of Works: This involves projects of civil and engineering nature e.g. construction of roads, office buildings etc.
The Public Procurement Board
The Public Procurement Act (Act 663) also provides for a Public Procurement Board whose objective is to harmonize the public procurement process. The board has a secretariat with a chief executive. Functions of the Board include;
- Formulation of policies on procurement
- Monitor and supervise public procurement
- Publicize a monthly procurement Bulletin
- Maintain a database of suppliers, contractors/consultants
- Maintain a list of firms that have been blacklisted
Finally, let’s look at some ethical conducts in Procurement. Moral principles or behaviors are taking into consideration in the process of obtaining services, supplies or equipment especially in most of the Metropolitan and District Assemblies. Below are some ethical conducts involved in public procurement:
- An assembly employee or member of the tender committee should not use his/her office or authority to influence the procurement process or for personal gain.
- Honesty among assembly staff, tender committee members and contractors/suppliers should be paramount
- Employees of assembly and tender committee members shall reveal any personal interest that may affect the procurement process
- Information given to the assembly by contractors/suppliers during the procurement process should be kept confidential and only used during the procurement process.
- Assembly staff and tender committee members should avoid business arrangements that prevent fair competition.
- Business gifts should not be accepted from current or potential contractors/suppliers of the assembly.