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19.03.2007 General News

Assembly members heckle DCEs for contracts

By : Public Agenda

Some assembly members continue to heckle DCEs in a bid to secure contracts for party faithful and friends contrary to clear-cut procedures set by the Public Procurement Act 2003, Act 663 for awarding contracts.

According to the Public Agenda newspaper, some Assembly members often refuse to allow the so called party faithful or friends to follow tendering procedures and often bring severe pressure to beat on DCEs in order to obtain contracts for their favourites.

But this could end if Presiding Members who are members of the Metropolitan, Municipal District Assemblies are drafted into District Tender Committees- the bodies empowered by Act 663 to perform procurement roles, Hon. Emmanuel W. Ntow Bediako, DCE for Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region has proposed.

The DCEs made the proposal last Thursday in Accra during a workshop organised by Public Agenda on the theme: “Decentralization in Ghana III- Making the Procurement Act 2003, Act 663 more relevant to Ghana's Fiscal Decentralization Process through Consensus Building.”

The workshop was the third of such forums organised as part of the Rights and Voice Initiative (RAVI) - Public Agenda Project on the decentralization process in Ghana.

Giving reasons for his proposal, Mr Ntow Bediako explained that some DCEs, including himself have had hectic times explaining to some of the assembly members why their wishes could not be granted.

“Therefore, if the PMs were made members of the DTCs, they would be able to support the position taken by DCEs and explain the provisions of Act 663 to the Assembly members who would then listen because the PMs are their heads.

He made reference to the arrangement that existed under LI 1606 which allowed the PM to chair the then District Tender Board although he agreed that there were occasions that some of the PMs abused their powers as chairmen of DTBs. He also called for capacity building for members if the DTCs.

Source: Public Agenda