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General News of Thursday, 29 August 2019

Source: Class FM

Contract for Sale: 'Your appreciation of conflict of interest problematic' – CSOs to PPA Board


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The Governing Board of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) must still step aside in connection with the corruption scandal involving the now-suspended Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Mr A.B. Adjei despite the Board’s recent assurance that its hands are clean.

The Board, in a statement after the scandal was published by investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni, assured the public that it will be vindicated by the investigations.

A press release signed by the Board Secretary said it had taken notice of a referral order by President Akufo-Addo to the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to investigate the matter.

The press release added that the PPA Board was prepared to cooperate with the investigations.

"The Board fully welcomes H.E. the President’s directives to conduct investigations into the matter," the statement said.

"The Board expresses its preparedness to cooperate with the investigations. PPA hereby assures the public that upon the conclusion of the said investigations, the role of the Board of the PPA in the granting of approvals for Restricted tendering and Single Source procurement in accordance with sections 38, 39, 40 and 41 respectively of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663] as amended will be understood”.

The Board further assured the public that following the investigations ordered by H.E. the President, it will become evident that the Board of the PPA does not influence tender processes conducted in accordance with Act 663, as amended.

“In addition, we are optimistic that it becomes clearer to the public that the Board does not have any control over the selection of Suppliers, Contractors and Consultants for goods, works and services presented by procurement entities in their applications for approval for restricted and single-source procurement processes".

But a subsequent statement by the CSOs on Thursday, 29 August 2019, said: “The CSO Coalition Working Against Corruption welcomes the swift response of the Governing Board of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to the documentary ‘Contract for Sale’ by Manasseh Azure Awuni uncovering potentially extensive abuses of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (as amended) and corruption.

“We have taken note of the assurance given by the Board to the people of Ghana to the effect that the role of the Board in approving restrictive tendering and sole-sourcing methods for procurement would be made clear after the conclusion of the investigations by the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

“Further, we note that in an interview granted Joseph Opoku Gakpo and broadcast on Joy FM’s Top Story programme on 23 August 2019, the Chairman of the PPA Board, Professor Douglas Boateng indicated that the CEO did make full disclosure and recused himself at the beginning of the process, as such the Board acted accordingly. However, he could not confirm if this was done in all of the cases.

“The response of the Chairman and the actions of the Board affirm our earlier position that the Board must step aside.

“It reconfirms our observation that the Board’s appreciation of the conflict of interest rule in Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution and expressed in the PPA Act 2003, is problematic.”

The statement added: “In addition, the issues raised by the Manasseh Documentary raise serious questions about the diligence with which the Board carries out its mandate to vet and approve methods for the restricted tender and sole-sourcing.”

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