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03.09.2004 Business & Finance

Channel requests through procurement committee- Mpiani

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 3, GNA- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning will not honour requests from government organisations for Specific Warrants that are not approved by the new Procurement Committee set up at the Presidency.

This follows the coming into force of the Public Procurement Act, Act 663, on August 27, 2004, said Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, Castle Chief of Staff on Thursday in Accra.

Mr Mpiani said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Christian Adu Atiemo, Chief Director at the Castle, when he opened in Accra, a two-day workshop on three Acts on the current Public Financial Management Reform.

The workshop, organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, is one of a series of education programmes on the Government's financial reforms.

Senior finance, accounts and administrative personnel from government machinery organisations attending the workshop would discuss the Financial Administration Act (Act 654), Internal Audit Act (Act 658) and the Public Procurement Act (Act 663).

It is expected that participants at the end of the seminar would understand the financial regulations, their role in making the Acts operational, be able to prepare a procurement plan and implement the new business processes.

Among the organisations represented at the workshop were Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Office of the President, Office of the Chief of Staff, Office of the Head Civil Service, Public Records and Archives Department, Office of the Senior Minister and the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC).

Mr Mpiani cautioned heads of departments that they would be held liable for any omissions. He therefore advised them to be familiar with the three new laws, be actively involved in the day-to-day operations in their respective offices and get their subordinates involved in the Financial Administrative Reforms.

Government embarked on public financial management reforms in the last two years with the aim of ensuring the promotion of efficiency, transparency and accountability in public financial management.

This has led to the promulgation of four laws: the Financial Administration Act 2003 (Act 654), the Internal Audit Agency Act 2003 (Act 658), the Public Procurement Act 2003 and the Payments and Systems Act, 2003 (Act 662). These laws cumulatively seek to bring about a major overhaul of the legal infrastructure in public financial management. Mr Mpiani directed all Agencies in the Internally Generated Non-Tax Revenue, which generate Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), to submit a copy of the letter authorising them to use the IGR as revolving fund, level of rates and fees they charge as well as any proposals for increment to the Presidency latest by Monday, September 20, 2004. He said this was to improve the comprehensiveness of the Budget.

In an interview with Mr Daniel Domelevo, Director, Controller and Accountant General's Department, who was also a resource person, said under the Procurement Law, the Chief Executive Officers of Departments and Agencies would have a threshold of 50 million cedis which should be in the Ministry's procurement plan.

He said some selected institutions had been given a threshold of 250 million cedis, and whatever was procured must be published at the end of the month in a monthly procurement magazine, which the Public Procurement Board is to come out with.

The magazine would also show all government procurement over a period, those to be made in the following months, as a means of transparency and scrutiny in public procurement.

"So any contractor or supplier can go and look at this magazine and know the type of things that government wants to procure in the ensuing months so that they strategise and compete for them," Mr Domelevo said.

"Since the magazine shows procurement made over the period, one can look at it and ask 'why is that one particular person is supplying to Government?"

He said the Procurement Law sets up Financial Administration Tribunal to enforce regulations in the Law.

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