By: Adofo, Rockson
In my estimation, sole sourcing as authorised by law for certain items to a certain amount of money to be purchased by some government ministries, corporations and district assemblies is a sure way for some people to steal the taxpayers' money with a clean license. Those in charge of awarding such contracts just nominate their friends or cronies who simply inflate the cost of the item(s) to be purchased to later be given kickbacks.
What is sole sourcing in the first place? Let us visit our dictionary to define it. From Wikipedia, The term "no-bid contract" is a popular phrase for what is officially known as a "sole source contract" which means that there is only one person or company that can provide the contractual services needed, so any attempt to obtain bids would only result in that person or company bidding on it
Why do we have to write into law that at certain times only one person could bid for a contract? Is it because of the urgency at which the contract must be executed? How do we conclude or verify that the price being quoted for the contract, be whatever it is, by the sole person it is being awarded to, is the right price or value for money?
For me, sole source has been one major source of our politicians cleverly colluding with their cronies to steal money from the public. Sole source does exist in many countries but in Ghana and Africa where corruption has become the daily staple for our politicians and those well placed in the society, they use that as a means to enrich themselves or to acquire immense wealth overnight without actually wiping any sweat.
How do our Metropolitan Municipal Chief Executives and District Chief Executives make their money? What are the mechanisms in place to check on them? There are absolutely none. This is the reason why an uncompleted fence wall around the residence of the Kumawu DCE during Election 2012 while I was in Ghana campaigning, was alleged to have already cost 1 Billion old Cedis. How much it would cost on completion was only known to the then DCE and his close associates.
Again, the cost of building the wall around the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso would not have cost that much, over USS600, 000, if it was not sole-sourced hence the alleged concomitant bribery of a Ford car to former President John Dramani Mahama the â€œSikadiciousâ€ man if not the unprecedentedly corrupt person in the annals of Ghanaâ€™s politics.
Tendering for a contract is the better option but it could not often apply to small projects which although small as they may appear, end up costing the taxpayers fortune because of the collusive tendency to dupe the nation by the people involved in their sole sourcing.
â€œTo tender is to invite bids for a project, or to accept a formal offer such as a takeover bid. Tender usually refers to the process whereby governments and financial institutions invite bids for large projects that must be submitted within a finite deadlineâ€.
Even with tender, the government consultants and some nominated persons responsible for ensuring that the bidder who offers value for money, quality job, good materials etc. are still engaged in some dodgy deals to make profit for themselves. However, tender contract is better than the sole source which opens the floodgates for corruption galore!!!
Let us see if things will get better under NPP or things will turn out to be like the events in the Animal Farm by George Orwell â€“ four legs good, two legs bad. However, no sooner had Mr Jones been overthrown by the animals than the pigs started walking on two legs and behaving worse than man.
We voted for a change to better our collective standards of living so we should all police our politicians and expose them should they engage in any acts of corruption, be they abuse of their position, embezzling funds, involving themselves in chieftaincy affairs to twist justice or unduly interfering in court cases to influence judges.
Stay tuned for more info from the son of Kumawu/Asiampa.
Dated: Thursday, 2 March 2017