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04.08.2004 General News

President Kufuor inaugurates Public Procurement Board

By GNA

Accra, Aug 4, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has called the on members the Public Procurement Board to ensure transparency to avoid any suspicion for the genuineness in government's determination to get value for money through procurement.

Inaugurating the seven-member Board on Wednesday, President Kufuor said, "We believe that with the effective and efficient management of the public sector procurement transparency could be seen and achieved to pave the way for emulation by successive governments". With the coming into effect of the Act, the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663), passed by Parliament last year, procurement institutions, such as the District Tender Board, the Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA) and the Ghana Supply Commission (GSC) cease to exist.

In their place, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies would set up their own Tender Committees and Tender Review Boards under the guidelines provided in the Act. President Kufuor said the source of most corrupt acts were through procurement and with the Government being the major source of purchases. He said procurement had been characterised by malpractices such as inflating prices, payment of commission up-front, distortion in tenders, suppliers and officials arranging purchases and deciding what should go into their pockets.

"Government has taken a critical look into the problem and decided to establish the Board to ensure transparency in procurement," he said. President Kufuor said the Government was in arms to fight corruption in the society and its policy on "Zero Tolerance for Corruption" was on course. He noted that corruption had been with man for a very long time and said, however, that the Government had appealed to Ministers and officials to endeavour to resist the temptation to be corrupt. "The moral fibre of the Ministers are to resist the temptation to be corrupt and rise above corruption". "Your Board therefore, plays a very crucial role in the Government's efforts to bring down corruption to its lowest ebb", he said.

Mr Kwesi Abbey Sam, Chairman of the Board, prayed to God for the courage, humility and the wisdom to carry on with the task ahead. He stressed the need for capacity building for the Act to work effectively and efficiently for a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory procurement procedure. Members of the Board are, Mrs Kathleen Quartey-Ayensu, of the Attorney-General's Department, Dr Boeh Ocansey, President of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) and Ms Helen Allotey, Chief Economic Officer. The other members are, Mrs Eileen Odartey Laryea, Director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Mr Tommy Amematekpor, Businessman and Mrs Asante Frempong, a retired Educationist.

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