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Public Procurement Act to help to achieve health outcomes
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Health News of Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Source: GNA

Public Procurement Act to help to achieve health outcomes

Accra, Oct. 25, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Minister of Health, on Wednesday said an efficient Public Procurement System was one strategy that could free the needed resources to achieve health outcomes.

He said though some critics perceived the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) to have slowed down government business by the enormous administrative workload involved, it would ensure the judicious use of resources.

Major Quashigah was speaking at an awareness and sensitization workshop on the Public Procurement Act (PPA) in Accra under the theme; "Impact of the PPA on Public Sector Procurement". He noted that a public procurement system could lead to at least 25 per cent in cost savings and serve as instrument to transform the country's financial potential into infrastructure and collective amenities.

"By the same logic procurement should be considered essential for poverty alleviation and a basic element in improving the living standards of the citizenry."

Major Quashigah noted, however, that there was the need to reduce the processing steps to reduce the cost of investment in procurement administration and clarify support for small and medium enterprises and the local industry in Ghana.

He said the Government, mindful of the potential benefit of a sound financial management as an instrument of good governance and socio-economic development, enacted the PPA 663, the Financial Administrative Act 654 and the Internal Audit Agency Act 658.

By definition, he said contemporary procurement referred to "relationship identification, data management and product responsibility map of every activity, arising from the conception of a need for product or service and the ultimate satisfaction of that need=94. The Minister said this definition highlighted the need for an organization to accept corporate responsibility for procurement and, therefore, articulated the organizational philosophy that underpins procurement across purpose.

"Good organizational procurement practice is more than buying, through tendering. It starts with needs assessment, the drawing up of a schedule of requirements, budgeting and specifying exactly what you need.=94

He said it did not end until the supplier's performance was critically rated, measured utilization and drawn vital lessons. Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Board, said the Act was generally accepted internally and internationally but needed deeper understanding to create the necessary impact.

He said intensive capacity development programme was required to achieve value for money and that by the first week of December when Parliament would have given the Legislative Instrument; a nationwide training would start to build capacity.

Mr Adjei said the Act applied to the procurement of goods, services and works which was financed in whole or in part from Public Funds. Touching on procurement ethics and offences related to it, he said the Legislative Instrument would make it difficult for anybody to go unpunished when he infracted on the law. 25 Oct. 06

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