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Business News of Friday, 30 October 2015

Source: GNA

Gov’t introduces tough provisions in procurement law

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance

Government has proposed new strong provisions for inclusion into the country’s public procurement law under review, to change the procurement landscape by eliminating bottlenecks and fighting against corrupt tendencies.

“If the proposed amendments are passed by parliament, hierarchical structures within the public procurement system,” which trigger undue delays would be adjusted.

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance made this known on Wednesday in a speech read on his behalf at the 7th public forum of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) held on the theme: “taking new strides to transform Ghana public procurement landscape; your role, my role.”

“Having implemented the Act 663 for more than a decade, government on its part has proposed new provisions to the public procurement law intended to transform Ghana’s procurement,” he said.

Key areas of the amendment include the reconstitution of the membership of the tender review boards to include only internal staff of entities, in order to encourage and deepen ownership of purchasing decisions.

Substantial increases are also being proposed to the approval threshold limits of entities.

Mr Terkper said:“If approved by parliament, heads of entities will have approval limits of up to GH¢ 100,000 for goods and services and GH¢ 150, 000 for works,” he said.

Entity committees would have approval limits of up to GH¢ 1,000,000 for goods and services and GH¢ 2,000,000 for works.

Mr Terkper said in order to reduce too much administrative cost and enhance efficiency, “all tender review boards with the exception of the central tender review boards will be dissolved.”

The ministries, departments and agencies would have to work towards the central review committees while the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies go to regional tender review committees to review all their procurement activities, if legislators sanction the bill.

The minister described the proposed reforms including, public financial management reform strategy 2015 to 2018, as landmark expected to have significant impact on the public procurement scene.

The proposed amendments are also expected to address challenges in the implementation of the act and introduce initiatives like framework contracting and electronic procurement.

Mr Terker called on the society to join the struggle to get and implement a procurement law in line with best practices, and also reminded service providers of their duty to improve their businesses practices.

“They must shy away from collusive arrangements and other corrupt practices that destroy the sanctity and integrity of tendering process,” he said.

“This is the time for all to get on board, the days of accusations and counter accusations on the challenges of the public procurement reforms must be over an done with,” he added.

Mr Samuel Sallas-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of PPA said the procurement amendment bill, 2015 has been gazette and is before parliament awaiting passage.

The bill forms part of the batches of finance bills expected to be considered and passed into law by parliament.