Procurement in Ghana is expected to be digitalised by 2023.
This statement was made by Mr. Frank Mante, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) during the authority’s 10th annual public forum held on 18th November 2021 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Airport-Accra.
This year’s forum which was dubbed “Public Procurement: Propelling the wheels of the Private Sector to deliver the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda” brought together Ministers, Board Members of the Public Procurement Authority, Chief Directors, Heads of State Owned Enterprises, Heads of other Public Sector Institutions, distinguished stakeholders in the Private Sector, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations as well as the media.
According to Mr. Mante, the choice of the theme was informed by PPA’s belief in the fact that successful public procurement is largely reliant on a robust, informed, resourced, and equipped private sector.
“Stakeholders, especially the private sector, development partners and the civil society organisation continue to yearn for good procurements practices and adherence to policies and standards set by the PPA as the regulatory body,” Mr. Mante emphasized.
The acting CEO stated that the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) which was launched in 2019, is in its second phase and aims to onboard all government entities to the system by October 2023. He also stated that the entire public procurement in Ghana is therefore expected to be fully digitalised by October 2023.
“Fully digitalised means that tender publication, tender submission by Service Providers, Tender Opening, Tender Evaluation, Award of Contract and the Management of contract will all be done electronically. Disposal of goods through auction could also be conducted electronically”, Mr. Mante explained.
He again stated that the PPA has set up a dedicated Secretariat whose responsibility is to ensure a smooth transition for government entities as well as the private sector in a phased roll-out.
“Every month, a set of Entities are taken through the roll-out process that commences with stakeholder engagement, training, and then on-site support when entities start using the system”, Mr. Mante mentioned.
“Let me emphasize that it is absolutely critical for Entities to take advantage of all the support and grace period for the transition. Very soon, sanctions will be applied to Entities who do not use the system and training will no longer be free”, he stressed.
He also used the opportunity to brief the audience about the operations of the authority within the last year.
On his part, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the PPA; Prof. Christopher Ameyaw Ekumfi noted that, the selection of the theme in his view, therefore, is appropriate to attempt to explore the role of public procurement in achieving this aim.
“How is the PPA working with the private sector towards propelling its wheel to participate effectively in the delivery of Ghana beyond aid agenda?” he asked.
“The strategy to achieve this objective is to promote effective, responsible and accountable state machinery with improved capacity to engage the productive private sector and civil society in formulating policies and strategies for accelerated growth and poverty reduction”, he answered.
He mentioned that the statement is a very profound one as it captures the essence of setting up the Public Procurement Authority.
On his part, Dr. John Kuma, Deputy Minister of Finance; stated that the theme for the forum was both timely and appropriate at this stage of Ghana’s development when a tenaciously entrepreneurial spirit and drive of the private business and the private sector is required to propel the government’s development agenda.
“Ghana’s Development agenda as embodied in the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ vision calls for a shift in mindset, attitudes and behaviours to reduce Ghana’s dependency on foreign aid and to, instead, encourage Ghanaian citizens and businesses to focus on building their own nation’s industries in order to reduce poverty”, he stressed.
He further observed that the Authority has over the years collaborated with the Ministry of Finance on several fronts to ensure effective implementation of the Procurement Law in Ghana.
“The Authority under the current leadership has made significant inroads to the achievement of its mandate, which include safeguarding the public purse to ensure Value for Money and Efficiency in Public Procurement processes,” Mr. John Kuma emphasized.
Lawyer Kwame Jantuah, Representative of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr. Michael Akurang Opoku representing the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as Mr. William Obeng of the Ghana EximBank joined the PPA boss to constitute the panel members that deliberated of the theme.