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Business News of Monday, 11 February 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

K.K. Sarpong’s GNPC procurement ‘hijack’ undermines transparency – Lecturer

Pressure is mounting on the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation’s (GNPC) Chief Executive, Dr. K. K Sarpong, to reverse a decision that seeks to bring the procurement function of the Corporation’s Chief Finance Officer directly under him.

Citi News sighted a memo signed by the GNPC boss instructing the Chief Finance Officer to hand over all procurement duties directly to him and to cease the award of new contracts forthwith.

But a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. John Gatsi fears the decision will undermine transparency at the institution and create a conflict of interest situation if implemented.

“It is unfortunate because that is not how the corporate governance arrangement is supposed to be. The CEO of the company is supposed to be the overall supervisor of activities within the company, but it should be placed directly under a procurement officer. So the moment you bring the procurement officer’s role to add to your own, you limit the effectiveness of transparency, you limit accountability, and you introduce the possibility of a conflict of interest so I believe the process must be reversed immediately,” he said.

The Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adam Mutawakilu has already condemned the development, saying that it violates the principles of good corporate governance.

“GNPC has a mission to become a stand-alone operator in the next five years and an independent operator in the next fifteen years and an independent operator in the next 15 years,” he said in a media interview.

He said the development would further compound the GNPC’s challenges.

According to him, the deputy director of procurements should be allowed to take over the procurement processes rather than the company’s CEO, K.K. Sarpong taking up the function.

“I think that it should be handed over to the deputy director of procurement or any other senior staff within the procurement department and even if the procurement department does not have any other senior staff, I think that somebody within the organisation should be appointed to act in the meantime,” he noted.