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29.11.2007 Business & Finance

‘Harmonize Procurement & Public Sector Reforms’

By Daily Guide

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has urged government to integrate procurement reforms into the broader workings of the public sector to ensure that changes in procurement systems are aligned and sequenced with changes in other parts of the public sector.

Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, A. B. Adjei made the recommendation at a “Meet-the-Press Series” in Accra.

He stressed that when procurement systems are done in such a manner, reforms would be moved from a technical and procedural tenet, to an effort which is critical to the success of national reform processes.

“Integration broadens participation in implementing change to a number of constituents and enables success in one area to reinforce and propel success in other areas,” he added.

Mr. Adjei noted that to ensure the attainment of value for money, his outfit and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has proposed the introduction of Framework Contracts and Sustainable Public Procurement to ensure nationwide development.

A framework contract is an agreement which establishes the general terms governing contracts to be awarded during a given period, as regards to price and where appropriate, the quantity envisaged.

He stressed that a framework contract would rationalize a public procurement system which is characterized by fragmentation of purchase action and minimize administrative costs involved in 'repeat' orders.

Recounting some challenges, Mr. Adjei said the fiscal decentralization and de-concentration in the public sector have placed procurement responsibility on many public entities, many of whom are not prepared for this role.

He added that studies conducted have also revealed the general lack of professional input in the public procurement and contracting process, which has led to various ad hoc arrangements, including the use of external expertise during stages of the procurement process.

Other studies conducted show that public procurement represents about 24 percent of total imports of the country and apart from personnel emoluments, it represents between 50-70 per cent of the national budget. It thus contributes about 14 percent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

By Patrick Baidoo