The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Adwoa Safo, says the government will probe the processes that led to the award of over 12 contracts to Adjaye and Associates.
This follows a petition forwarded to the President by the Ghana Institute of Architects raising concerns about procurement breaches and unfair practices in the award of some lucrative contracts to the firm owned by renowned Ghanaian-born British architect, Sir David Adjaye.
In an interview with the press in Parliament, Adwoa Safo said the concerns raised by the local architects were legitimate.
“The Ghanaian architects in the procurement process ought to be on the lookout for some of these things to alert the government. So once, the petition has come, I am sure the President will engage my office on those matters. We will engage the Association of Architects. We will interrogate and investigate those allegations and make proper recommendations.”
“As it stands now, my mandate rests with advisory and policy. So, I will advise the President accordingly but I think that moving forward, we ought to have procurement agencies in each established ministry and leave all those procurement agencies under that ministry. That way, you will have a Minister supervising and monitoring to make sure that things are done right.”
A Ghanaian Architectural firm, Design and Associates Development Consortium, petitioned President Akufo-Addo, over possible bias in the award of 12 state projects to David Adjaye & Associates.
Sir David Adjaye’s architectural firm has already courted controversy because of its work on the National Cathedral and the new Parliamentary complex.
Design and Associates argue that these two projects, in addition to others like the Marine Drive Master Planning, Trade Fair Centre redesign and the GNPC Accra Head Office, were not awarded fairly.
“Our concerns are premised on the total and absolute disregard and non-adherence to principles of transparency, fairness, equity and the laws governing the procurement of professional services by stature companies and bodies”, the petitioners said.
Other concern raised in the petition
The firm is raising concerns over Mr. Adjaye's legitimacy to practice in Ghana because he is not a resident per the Architects Decree (NRCD 357).
Design and Associates also said Mr. Adjaye's firm is recruiting architects from beyond Ghana and ignoring local talent.
“The negative impression and image is being created in the public that locally trained Architects and Engineers are incompetent and not qualified to undertake such projects in the country which is totally untrue.”
But the crux of the local architecture firm's complaints had to do with the procurement process which it described as “bizarre.”
It maintained in the petition that David Adjaye & Associates was selected “contrary to all notions of fairness to carry out projects when it is clear that anyone firm would be overburdened by projects of such magnitude.”