02.04.2004 General News

Procurement agencies cease to exist

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Accra, April 2, GNA- Procurement institutions, such as the District Tender Board, the Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA) and the Ghana Supply Commission (GSC) ceased to exist, with the coming into effect of the Public Procurement Act, Act 663 of 2003.

In their place, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA's), as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA's) would set up their own Tender Committees and Tender Review Boards under the guidelines provided in the Act.

The change comes in the wake of implementation of three laws-the Financial Administration Act, (Act 654), the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003, (Act 658), and the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663), which Parliament passed last year.

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Deputy Minister (Budget) of Finance and Economic Planning, has tasked Chief Directors of MDAs to be at the forefront of the change and make the Acts workable. Dr Osei was speaking on Thursday in Accra at a sensitisation seminar on the operation of the three laws, attended by 28 Chief Directors of MDAs. He said the Acts serve as very important triggers for the HIPC Completion Point, Multi-Donor Budgetary Support and Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit Programmes (PRSCP). He said among the triggers are the establishment of committees and boards under the Procurement Act, setting up and staffing audit units in MDAs and MMDA's and full dissemination and implementation of Financial Administration Act (FAA) 654.

Dr Osei said with the three laws, the Financial Administration Decree SMCD 1979, was replaced by the Financial Administration Act 2003, Act 654. He said internal audit functions, which traditionally was performed by the Controller and Accountant General's Department, would now be directly under the control of MDAs and MMDAs.

Dr Osei tasked the participants to provide a list of staff for the Tender Committees and Review Boards, put a mechanism in place to establish Internal Audits Units and Audit Implementation Committees, and develop procurement plans in line with the provisions of Act 663. He said they should also prepare their staff for Education, Awareness and Training Programmes for the Act, and also acquire both soft and hard copies of the Laws. The sensitisation programme would proceed throughout the country for the next two months.

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