Government in massive breach of procurement law

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 Source: Ernest Norgbey

Indeed, we are living in a state of lawlessness in recent times, where everything is done now is without recourse to the very law governing us.

These acts of lawlessness are not only limited to the political vigilantes affiliated to the present day government, ie. Invisible, Delta Forces and Bolga Bulldogs and their likes alone but the canker extends to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Yes! They are also involved.

The Flag Staff House interestingly appears to be in the lead of all these daylight exhibitions of total lawlessness of which we don't know when it will end.

I am aware that corruption cannot be limited to activities of the state and governments alone but cuts across.

However, the dent that high profile corruption can leave on an economy can be highly devastating such that; this in many cases as seen, could contribute to the increase in the cost of running government business which ultimately has a trickle-down effect on the downtrodden or the ordinary Ghanaian.

This government in less than a year has lifted high the bar of lawlessness in its procurement processes thereby making way for corruption to thrive in its procurements.

Corruption shall surely take place when right or standard processes of doing things are not followed.

Public procurement simply refers to the defined rules, methods, processes and procedures by which government institutions are mandated by law to use to acquire goods, services and works using public funds.

The Public Procurement Act 2003, (ACT 663 ) and the amended version act 914 guide the process of public procurement in the public service. This law attempts to fight corruption by ensuring transparency and fairness in the procurement processes.

But in less than a year, there have been several breaches on the procurement act by persons who were on top of the roof, shouting against sole sourcing.

Officials of this latter-day government is what I am referring to here. Within this period of less than one year in government, its officials who pride themselves as book long have with impunity breached the procurement law with the following procurements that have so far taken place:

1. Government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture purchased chemicals to fight armyworm without due procurement process. The Ministry requested for a retrospective approval from the Public Procurement Authority, for an emergency supply of insecticides to control the fall army worms after an amount of close GHc10 million arrangements for the insecticides had been made.

This was purely in violation of the PPA, on the fact that we do not practice retrospective laws in Ghana.

2. Government/MASLOC purchases about 1,800 second-hand vehicles without procurement process and approval.

Details of documents signed on August 10, 2017, between MASLOC and Dextro-Impex Company Limited, indicated the lack of financial stamina on the part of the supplier to execute the contract to deliver the 1,800 cars, which are over 6 years old.

But despite the financial incapacity, MASLOC, through its Chief Executive, Stephen Amoah, strangely provided a bailout for the company by giving it a Letter of credit to enable it go in search of a loan to procure the multimillion-dollar over-aged vehicles contract.

3.Government paid for GPS-apps for digital address without procurement act. Isn't it strange that, the NPP government can spend over 2.5million dollars on an app that can be found on our phones? The fundamental question is what procurement method was used in awarding the contract to Vokacom? What due diligence was done?

4. Minister of Finance approved funds for McDan without the Board's approval.

5. Minister of Agric took money from ADB without its Board.

The list continues and we can expect nothing than the worst form of that.

How long can this act of lawlessness continue whilst we look on?

Government must amend its ways and do the right thing because the path it's chatting will lead us to future problems if care is not taken.

Let's unite for victory 2020


Columnist: Ernest Norgbey