The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is fuming over what it calls poorly negotiated government contracts, thus leaving Ghana worse off.
TUC says a careful study of contracts signed by the government over the years appears to suggest that Ghana lacks competent human resource persons versed in negotiating deals that are favourable to the country, but it is certain that there are many competent negotiators in the country.
The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Yaw Baah says poorly negotiated contracts are the cause of the increasing poverty in the country, and therefore it is important for the government to hire competent local negotiators.
He blamed Parliament for failing to properly scrutinise the various contracts that come before it for approval.
“We have very experienced negotiators in this country who can negotiate for us. Why don’t we use them? If you look at recent contracts, you wonder if we don’t have the expertise in this country to negotiate good agreements… It is difficult to explain. Parliament has disappointed us. If you read some of the contracts, you’d wonder the kind of efforts that go into the approvals,” he said.
Parliament, in playing an oversight role in the governance of Ghana, is expected to scrutinize major agreements intended to be executed by the Executive, but it has endued serious criticism for failing to effectively carry out that role.
Some Members of Parliament have lamented in the past that they are not given ample time to go through the often copious documents before they are opened for debate and subsequent approval if found worthy.
The House has however often been at the receiving end of criticisms of poor contracts entered into the government.
The Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana), Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh in a recent article cited Parliament for being at the centre of most scandals and ‘bad deals’ entered into by the government in 4th republic.
“Every single international commercial transaction or agreement we have entered into in the 4th Republic, including those that have led to breaches and judgement debts, was once approved by our MPs in Parliament! How many bad deals has our Parliament saved us from since 1993? How many scandals have they unearthed through oversight? How many findings and recommendations contained in Auditor-General’s Reports have our MPs caused to be implemented?”
Asking some critical questions, he wondered if parliament’s existing structure was capable of saving the country.
“How many billions of cedis or dollars have our MPs saved us since 1993? Indeed, is our Parliament, as currently designed and operating, capable of saving us much at all? I doubt it. Well, this is the kind of Parliament and MP the 4th Republican (1992) Constitution has wrought. And this is only a small slice of it. It does not get better,” he noted.