Business News of Thursday, 21 July 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

World Bank approves new procurement framework

The World Bank Group has approved a new procurement framework for projects financed by the bank with effect from July this year.


The new policy document, which has gone through consultative processes since 2012, is meant to allow the bank to better respond to the needs of client countries, while preserving modern and global standards for procurement.

It is also aimed at promoting efficiency, transparency and value for money, as well as dealing with fraud and corruption, in order to build national economies of client countries.

In view of that, the Ghana Office of the World Bank Group yesterday held an information session for implementing agencies in the country to explain what they needed to know and what was expected of them as far as the new policy was concerned.

They were also taken through the 129-page document, including the various sections and annexes, to better position themselves with the new framework.

So far, the bank’s procurement system affects a portfolio of about $42 billion in over 1,800 projects in 172 countries.

Vision of new framework

In a welcome address, the Senior Operations Officer of the World Bank Group in Ghana, Ms Beatrix Allah Mensah, said the vision of the new framework was to ensure value for money, sustainable development and integrity.

Since similar sessions were ongoing in client countries globally, she said, the framework was to help clients achieve better and improved results in procurement activities in their respective countries.

Ms Mensah added that the new framework had been prepared in such a way that it met the legal and financial standards of the bank, taking into consideration the legal frameworks of client countries.

Mis-procurement

According to the Senior Procurement Specialist of the bank, Mr Charles John Aryee Ashong, the framework had been made in such a way that it would deal with mis-procurement — the situation where implementing agencies failed to comply with laid-down procedures.

However, he indicated that certain guidelines in the new framework had not changed, including auditing, fraud and corruption guidelines, hence the need for clients to acquaint themselves with them.

“Even though the framework has started, it does not affect existing projects which have already been executed and are in full operation.

“One thing that underpins the new procurement framework is the strategy for development by way of building strong processes for implementing agencies,” he stressed.

The new policy, Mr Ashong indicated, offered huge opportunities for the public/private partnership (PPP) concept.