General News of Fri, 31 Aug 201829

Martin Amidu on the heels of EC, NLA officials - Procurement Authority boss

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Chief Executive Officer of Public Procurement Authority, Adjenim Boateng Adjei haven hinted of prosecution of officials of some state institutions for breaking procurement laws and overseeing several infractions.

Adjenim Boateng Adjei gave insights into recent investigations the Authority has conducted assuring that the reports have been submitted to the Attorney General.

He noted that but for the fact that the PPA has no prosecutorial powers, some officials of state institutions would have been dragged to court for those procurement infractions buttressing his claim that all things being equal the general public will hear of some actions being taken soon.

The investigations conducted and findings obtained the PPA CEO explained has caught the interest of the Special Prosecutor who has since requested and received the documents sent to the Attorney General for immediate action.

Unlike in previous years when findings of such investigations were made to rot on the shelves of prosecuting authorities, Adjenim Adjei pointed to the work of the committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the EC.

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He boasted that the Committee that found sacked EC official guilty of procurement infractions largely based their work on their findings.

"It is important to note that the Authority has in recent times conducted procurement investigations on procurement operations of a couple of state institutions and the reports of these audits have been forwarded to investigative bodies, in fact, we have now received information that the special prosecutor wants copies of these reports which are already with Attorney General and copies with EOCO" he detailed.



Gov't saved GHC1.6bn since 2017 through procurement due diligence

Government has saved over GHC1.6bn since 2017 as a result of due diligence on the part of officials and the implementation of reforms at the Public Procurement Authority.

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The reforms included the establishment of two new units charged with a mandate to scrutinise all procurement tenders and contracts and also review the procurement value chain from the process of awarding contracts to when the goods or services reach the final beneficiary.

Acknowledging the strides made by his outfit, CEO of the Public Procurement Authority attributed the savings made and progress with a more efficient procurement system to the ongoing initiatives.

Adjenim Adjei testified that the establishment of the two new units has further strengthened the Compliance and Monitoring Department to critically execute their mandate.

"The Authority has established two purpose driven operational units and three operational activities to enhance the credibility of our operations and processes. The units are the Due Diligence otherwise known as Value for money unit and the Procurement Investigations or Audit units. Through these initiatives, the Authority under its current leadership has made significant inroads towards the achievement of its mandate which includes safeguarding the public purse to ensure value for money and efficiency in public procurement processes. One such achievement in recent times has been the record savings on public expenditure to the tune of GHC800m for the year 2017 and another GHC795 million for the first half of 2018" he claimed.

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Public Procurement Authority CEO was speaking at a roundtable discussion on the theme, "Improving Public Procurement Systems in Ghana" at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra on Thursday while delivering his keynote address on "Improving Public Procurement Systems in Ghana: PPA's contribution to the fight against corruption"

He also revealed that the Authority intends to roll out an e-portal where contracts will be bid to reduce the chances of collusion and risks of defrauding the state.

Also at the event, George Winful, Deputy Auditor General disclosed that government saved GHC5.4 billion after a liability audit.

George Winful observed out of more than 3, 000 records and claims reviewed by his outfit, about 6 companies contested their reports out of which only two were granted their wishes by the High Court to be expunged from the report for infractions.

The total of their claims amounted to GHC100 million which he averred was insignificant and maintained the total at GHC5.4 billion savings.

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He cautioned officials to be circumspect and diligent at all times to ensure the right processes are followed and right things are done and expressed shock at the information already coming from the payroll audit conducted in the Central and Western Regions.

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