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08.11.2019 General News

Alleged Procurement Breaches: GWCL Adhered To The Law On Procurement — MD Justifies

Alleged Procurement Breaches: GWCL Adhered To The Law On Procurement — MD Justifies
NOV 8, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

The Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Ing. Dr. Clifford A. Braimah has emphasized that there has neither been any form of breaches nor infractions in its procurement process during the award of contracts as they keep to upholding and strictly adhering to the laws of the country.

He made this known during a press conference held at the Headquarters of GWCL, Accra on November 7, 2019.

In his statement, he stressed that “The law however allows for certain exceptions where entities could engage in restrictive tendering and/or single source procurement pursuant to the provisions and stipulated procedures of the Public Procurement Authority Act. GWCL as a public entity ensures that its procurement of Goods, Services and Works are done in strict conformity with the law.”

This is in relation to the procurement issue pertaining to the “Supply and Installation of Transport pump, control Panel and additional items for Takoradi Pump House at Inchaban Treatment Plant” which was procured through single sourcing.

Read full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT ON ALLEGED PROCUREMENT BREACHES IN

GHANA WATER COMPANY LIMITED BY MANAGING DIRECTOR

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press…

Good Morning…

I wish to thank you all for making it to our offices this morning.

Last week, a group of Media Men paid a surprise visit to my office. I thank you all. As Media Men, I knew your visit cannot be without queries, so I wasn’t surprised at all when you told me of your mission. I promised to respond appropriately as we all agreed on a later date. As a gentleman, I have honoured my promise, and I am also here with my team of Lieutenants, so together, we can respond to you adequately, so as to allow sleeping dogs to have a sound sleep.

It breaks my heart, when some citizens of our dear nation constantly make frantic efforts, not in building, but retarding the progress of well-meaning individuals and institutions of this great republic of ours. The Ghana Water Company Limited has for some time now, been working assiduously at building a reputation for itself, so as to achieve its vision of being a world class utility. While we work hard to attain this feet, others deliberately utilize their precious time to draw us back.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The GWCL has been transformed over a short period and I would have wished that, this time together with you the Press, would have been a time for touting our monumental successes, achievements and a grand celebration, instead, we have had to respond to frivolous allegations without merit.

Today, GWCL sends bills of customers electronically via txt messages and emails, which they receive in real time. Although we are running both hard and soft copy bills simultaneously, all efforts are being made to go fully paperless in the next six months.

Today, Customers of GWCL can pay their bills from their comfort zones, anywhere in the world, anytime of the day, and you will receive an instant response, indicating a receipt of payment and reflection of payment in your account.

Today, Supervisors and Managers of GWCL can track their Subordinates wherever they are and also to see whatever they are doing at a particular point in time.

Today, GWCL has introduced SMART metering into our operations and within a 5-year duration, we plan to change all mechanical and analogue meters in the system to SMART meters. This has been rolled out on a pilot. When this is completed, our meters will be read remotely via a device which may not necessitate the entry of Meter Readers into customer’s premises. Moving forward, these meters will be read by drones so as not to disturb the privacy of our cherished customers.

The vison of Government and the GWCL is for Ghanaians to have 100% access to potable water by the year 2025, five clear years ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which has the same target but in 2030.

The GWCL Ladies and Gentlemen, has been recognised and awarded both internationally and locally, including the prestigious Wexglobal 2019 Awards in Innovations in Finance and Partnerships.

The GWCL is also mentoring some other Utilities including the GUMA Valley Water of Sierra Leone and Partnering the City of Aahus and Aarhus Water of Denmark, of which we are expecting a visit of the Mayor of the City of Aahus and Executives of Aahus Water in Ghana in March 2020.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press… we can continue on and on and on …. These are our expectations of subjects we would wish to be discussing while we meet with you the media. Unfortunately, it is not……

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

A few months ago, in September to be precise, a media publication titled, “GWCL Board Chairman Afenyo-Markin Dragged to Amidu over Contract Breaches”, purported to be a petition to the Special Prosecutor for investigation and prosecution, but leaked to the press, was brought to our attention as management.

An edited version of this same article, we recollect, was published in the 30th August, 2018 edition of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper which was subsequently retracted with an apology to the parties mentioned in the said article.

In these articles or petition, some allegations were been made against the Board Chairman, Hon. Alexander Afenyo-Markin and considering the chronology of events, Mr. Markin, as at then, had not assumed his position as Board Chairman, and therefore could not have been in any way, involved, so as to cause the alleged breaches raised by the petitioner. The Management of GWCL deems it necessary to clarify the records, educate and inform the general public, especially the petitioner, Mr. Alhassan Salifu Bawa, that the Ghana Water Company Limited, operates an open door policy and is willing to assist any individual in his or her quest to unravel any misconceptions about GWCL and its operations.

GWCL is a Limited Liability Company under the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), originally established as Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation under the now repealed Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation Act, 1965 Act 310). All contracts are awarded in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663). The 5th schedule of the Amendment Act, stipulates the use of international competitive tender for goods above GHs10 Million, works above GHs15Million and technical services above GHs5Million. For National Competitive Tender, the threshold for Goods is between GHs100 Thousand and GHs10Million, for Works GHs200 Thousand to GHs5Million and Technical Services between GHs200 Thousand to GHs5Million. In respect of Price Quotation, it is up to GHs100 Thousand for Goods, GHs200 Thousand for Works and GHs50 Thousand for Technical Services. It is pertinent to note that the default method for all public procurement is through competitive tendering. The law however allows for certain exceptions where entities could engage in restrictive tendering and /or single source procurement pursuant to the provisions and stipulated procedures of the Public Procurement Authority Act. GWCL as a public entity ensures that its procurement of Goods, Services and Works are done in strict conformity with the law.

The procurement issue in question, that is, “Supply and Installation of Transport pump, control Panel and additional items for Takoradi Pump House at Inchaban Treatment Plant”, was procured through single sourcing and the justification for that option is in line with section 40 of Act 663. Emphasis on subsections 1(a) & (d)(i) which states;

“A procurement entity may engage in single-source procurement under section (1) with the approval of the Board.

  1. Where goods, works or services are only available from a particular supplier or contractor, or if a particular supplier or contractor has exclusive rights in respect of the goods, works or services, and no reasonable alternative exists or per the substitution of paragraph (d) of the Amendment Act.

(d) Where the procurement entity having procured goods , equipment etc. determines the additional supplies must be procured from the supplier …. Because of standardisation or compatibility with existing goods, equipment etc taking into account.

  1. The effectiveness of the original procurement in meeting the needs of the procurement entity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our Western Regional Office wrote to the Head Office to procure 23 No. Eletro-mechanical equipments and spares for the replacement of the existing defective ones, to enable the region improve on production and supply of potable water to the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Area.

Due to the exigency of the request, and the fact that, the Electro-mechanical equipment requested for, were to be used for replacement, there was the need for standardisation and compatibility with the existing equipment. Hence, the justification given by GWCL to the PPA was; the replacement of existing branded item of proprietary nature for standardisation and compatibility with existing equipment.

The original equipment’s manufacturer’s sole representative for West Africa is Messrs. Intermec Ghana Limited. GWCL in line with the law, applied to the PPA with justifiable reasons for single sourcing. The PPA per a letter dated 16th October, 2016, approved and granted GWCL’s request to single source the demanded necessary equipment from the local representative Messrs. Intermec Gh. Limited. GWCL as a result budgeted for the equipment and subsequently awarded the contract for the supply and installation in March, 2017.

Considering the fact that the current chairman of the Board was appointed into office on 7th September 2017, it makes it inconceivable that Mr. Afenyo-Markin is accused of breaches of the law in this regard. It is to be explicitly and categorically stated that, there has neither been any breaches nor infractions at all since GWCL has been dutiful in upholding and adhering strictly according to the laws of the Republic, in its procurement process. Management infers that GWCL is rather the target of these articles and not the Board Chairman since he took office in September, 2017 after all these transactions had transpired. Management of GWCL remain willing to subject itself to all investigations instituted either by the Special Prosecutor or any other investigative agency into these issues. The Management of the Ghana Water Company Limited further cautions Mr. Alhassan Salifu Bawa and his cohorts to desist from dragging the hard earned reputation of the company through the mud. Management will further wish to issue a note of caution to individuals and media houses who publish erroneous statements, which it is subject of, without verification of its truth or otherwise and without conducting due diligence, that, it reserved and shall fully exercise the right to seek legal redress against all such perpetrators. Mr. Alhassan seeks to deliberately ignore due diligence into specific allegations before circulating same in the media and making it the subject matter of a petition.

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