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General News of Monday, 27 March 2017


Vetting: Adwoa Safo sees no conflict with PPA in new ministerial post

Procurement minister-designate Sarah Adwoa Safo is before the Appointments Committee of Parliament vetting the last batch of 54 nominations for ministerial posts.

The lawyer who is also the Deputy Majority leader has justified the decision of the Akufo-Addo government to create the position of the Minister of State in charge of public procurement.

There is already a Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority which ensures that public institutions operate within Public Procurement Act.

Answering questions about a potential clash of roles between her role as procurement minister and the PPA, Adjoa Safo who holds a Masters' in Public Procurement stressed her work is to advise government. She will be an internal check within the government.

"No way will there be conflict with PPA. It will rather go on and empower it", she told MPs Monday.

Public procurement was a 2016 campaign issue with the NPP accusing the NDC government of failing to ensure value for money in the cost of contracts and projects.

The NPP lamented that a provision in the law for sole-sourcing of projects was abused several times by the NDC in order to dish out contracts to cronies. The then Minority leader Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said that since the coming into force of the Public Procurement Act 663 (2003) more than 80 percent of government contracts have been awarded through sole-sourcing.

Adwoa Safo stressed at her vetting, the NPP government has put in place measures it believes will address the potential abuse of the law through sole-sourcing.

She said, government has placed a 50 million cedi ceiling for contracts awarded through sole-sourcing. Any cost beyond this level must be brought to cabinet for parliamentary approval, she said.

"I can assure Ghanaians we will minimise the use of sole-sourcing" Adwoa Safo said. The minister-designate said she will help ensure government mets its campaign promise to reserve 70% of all taxpayer-funded contracts and procurement for local businesses.

Dome-Kwabenya MP also stressed the party's policy direction to give at least 30% of the required 70% of these contracts will be sourced to entities owned by youth, women and people living with disabilities.