Procurement Minister Rendered Useless

…As World Bank launches e-procurement system

A huge question mark has, once more, come to dangle on the wisdom in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s creation of a Ministry for Procurement as the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) winds up the process to establish an electronic procurement platform.

On Monday, this week, PPA launched government’s electronic procurement system in Accra to crown a four-year journey towards eliminating the human factor in public sector procurement, after bids had been opened in 2012.

Dubbed the e-Ghana Project, the establishment of the platform was sponsored by the World Bank at a cost of $97million.

E-Ghana Project has a component called e-procurement which is an electronic platform for the administration of public procurement.

As the purpose of the platform is to totally eliminate human influence in public procurement, in order to fight corruption, the whole project has become a huge question mark on the relevance of the Procurement Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo.

Ms. Safo’s portfolio, Ministry of Procurement, is one of several new ministries that President Akufo-Addo has created with duty definitions that are seen as either amorphous or duplicitous.

The Procurement Ministry was set up in spite of the fact that every other ministry and government agency has a procurement department.

At the July 10 launch of the e-Ghana Project, CEO of the PPA, Mr. Agyenim Boateng Adjei, told stakeholders the main benefit of the project is that it will eliminate human influence in public procurement, which is the main source of corruption.

In addition to that the project is expected to oil the wheels of transactions, even as it inter-connects all public sector institutions and open up public procurement to the public.

The World Bank’s e-Ghana Project started in 2011. In 2012 the PPA initiated an international competitive bidding process to select a consultant to assist them with the establishment of the e-governance system.

President Nana Akufo-Addo who was sworn into office on the 7th of January, 2017, created the Procurement Ministry in spite of the fact that the e-Ghana project was already in the offing by the time he became President.

In July 2016, the European Dynamics, an information technology solution provider firm headquartered in Greece, had been selected as the application service providers and a contract had been signed with them on May 26, this year.

A three-member team from European Dynamics had been in the country from July 10 to 14, to demonstrate how the proposed system would work and conduct requirement discussions.

The e-procurement component of the e-Ghana project will be implemented by the PPA. E-Procurement cost some $6million to establish.




The Republic News Online

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