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General News of Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Procurement Authority kicks against review of sole-sourcing law

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has dismissed calls for the establishment of a committee to vet sole-sourced projects approved by the Authority.

According to the PPA, it has the capacity and legal backing to assess all sole-sourced projects in the country.

Sole sourcing of projects has in recent times become a heated political issue due to suspected over bloating of projects to benefit some contractors.
The Chief Executive of the PPA, A.B Adjei, maintains that the current laws governing sole sourcing already enhances transparency and therefore sees no need for a review.

“We believe that the composition of the PPA board is stronger than any of the other structures provided in the law, so if the PPA board reveals any request, we do not see how that request should be subjected to any other review body. The other review bodies are not institutions on their own. They are just ad-hoc committees that are put together.”

“There are members who come to review a contract at a certain threshold, and so we will rather encourage that they will concentrate their efforts on the thresholds that will set for the review boards, but with sole sourcing which does not have any threshold, the PPA will continue to do its due diligence.”

‘We’ve sole-sourced 232 contracts;

A few weeks ago, Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng told Parliament that 56 percent of all sole-sourced contracts that were presented to the government was approved in 2017.

This, he said was against 95 percent of all such requests which were approved through sole-sourcing basis in 2016 by the NDC government.

A few months ago, President Nana Addo also made a similar comment, indicating that government had saved a total of GHC 782 million from sole sourcing and restrictive tender processes within its first year in government.

He was keen to note that this was in sharp contrast to the NDC’s to the zero savings made from sole-sourcing in 2016 under the National Democratic Congress.

IMANI disapproves claims

However, President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, subsequently downplayed the significance of a reduction in sole-sourced contracts, saying there was still a lack of transparency as far as citizens were concerned.

Despite President Akufo-Addo’s assertions, Mr. Cudjoe expressed some misgivings with the fact that goods were still being sole-sourced as he asked: “whether we would ever do anything significantly different from what we have seen in the past.”

“Even if there was 90 percent approval of sole sourcing under NDC, and we now have 50 percent approval under the NPP, the point I am trying to make is that there is no basis for this kind of comparison because, first of all, we don’t even get to see, as ordinary people, what exactly is being procured,” he said.