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17.11.2005 General News

MOD to ensure transparency in procurements

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA- Defence Minister Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor on Thursday indicated that the Ministry had put in place a Defence Tender Review Board to ensure that procurement transactions are carried out in a more transparent and honest manner.

This, he said, was in furtherance of the letter of the three recently promulgated Acts of Parliament to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in public financial management. The Acts are the Financial Administration Act (Act 654), the Internal Audit Act (Act 658) and the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) all of 2003.

Dr Addo-Kufuor said this when a team from the Public Procurement Board (PPB) interacted with key personnel of the Ministry and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at Burma Camp in Accra, as part of the PPB's continuous outreach programme on the Public Procurement Act for public entities to deepen their understanding of the Act.

The team also presented a copy of the Act to the MOD.

The Minister stated that in line with the spirit of the Act, he had mandated the Defence Tender Committee to examine every payment claim in respect of all and other services awarded before the composition of the Committee.

He however pointed out that the GAF had been able to cope with the processes under the Act because, prior to its introduction, the armed forces had in place a well-constituted Defence Procurement Committee to ensure rigid and transparent procurement procedures that were substantially similar to those under the Procurement Act.

Dr. Addo-Kufuor said there was also a vibrant Internal Audit Unit at the MOD to support the general financial administration at the Ministry and also the work of the Tender Committee and the Tender Review Board.

He expressed the hope that the interactions initiated by the PPB, as well as the ongoing assessment of the performance of selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the country would encouraged these institutions to perform their duties in a more transparent manner.

Mr Adjenim-Boateng Adjei, Chief Executive of the PPB who made a presentation on the objectives, procedures, limitations and rules of the Act, said the enactment was aimed at the judicious use of state resources.

The Act also aims at ensuring that public procurement is carried out in a transparent manner, as well as ensure that procurement decisions are made in a corporate mode.

He tasked them to deepen their knowledge on the Act because the Ministry of Finance would be tying the release of funds according to the procurement plan as enshrined in the Act.

To assess the Ministry's commitment to transparency and accountability, a two-man team from the PPB recently visited the MOD to evaluate its performance under the Act.

Having met with the members of the Defence Tender Committee and interacted with them, the team had the opportunity to examine and review the procurement working papers.

Mr Adjei said the PPB was working on the final report on the MOD's procurement procedures.