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General News of Thursday, 30 June 2005

Source: Joy

Ghana Integrity Initiative holds gov?t on new Act

The Ghana branch of the anti-corruption campaign group, Transparency International, has challenged government claims that the Public Procurement Act will end corruption in the country.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative made its views on the procurement Act known at a forum in Accra.

Government says the passage of the Procurement Act, Financial Administration Act and the Internal Audit Act are classical monuments in its fight against corruption.

But speaking at the forum to discuss the Public Procurement Act with the private sector, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, said the Public Procurement Act adopts procedures that rather encourage corruption.

Daniel Batidam said under the Act the Presidency, Ministers of State and top public officers can interfere in public procurements.

This, he said, encourages fraudulent procurement practices.

He called on government to take a second look at the Act.

?Public corruption is prevalent, recurrent and supply or supply management financed by government. Also the district and regional projects usually financed under World Bank and other loans. The act concentrated on the latter alone for unknown or questionable reasons. We recommend that government should hire the true and correct procurement professionals to deal with procurement?, he said.

Mr. Batidam also noted that the Act 663 does not have the full qualities of a Public Procurement Act.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwadjo Baah-Wiredu reacted to Mr. Batidam?s comments.

?The law cannot be a complete answer or solution to all our problems but once you have the frame work it would help us make some advances. They have taken the position and that position is very good because we can always measure each other,? he said.

The Public Procurement Act generated a lot of debate as to whether it is a panacea against corruption in Ghana when it was first passed.

But with such criticism of it two years on, the debate seem long from over.