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NDC Loots Coffers With Sole Sourcing - Adwoa Safo   
 
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30-May-2017  
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The Minister of State in-charge of Public Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo yesterday revealed how the previous Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration plundered state resources through the use of the sole-sourcing policy.

Speaking at a workshop organised by Public Procurement Authority, (PPA) under the auspices of the Office of the President, for ministers and heads of state institutions to sensitise them on the country’s procurement laws, especially sole-sourcing, she noted that “the core reason for the promulgation of Act 663 was to sanitize the government procurement procedures, make it more transparent and less prone to corruption which hitherto had bedevilled the government procurement processes.”

That notwithstanding, she said “without doubt, the quest to achieve a more transparent and corruption-free process has seen very little or no improvement, as the policy remains the single most abused policy by the government.”

Angered by the impunity with which the sole-sourcing policy was abused, the Dome Kwabenya MP said it is the “most abused policy ever introduced by government and we are aware of how the previous government unjustifiably took advantage of it.”

Revelations

Adwoa Safo, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament said, “We are aware of how the previous administration unjustifiably took advantage of sole sourcing, a method under the law to loot state money.”

“By this method, several contracts were awarded to cronies and families which also resulted in dubiously inflating contract cost for purposes of creating, looting and sharing,” she said.

Assurance

She gave assurance that “under the watch of His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Vice President, the appropriate steps will be taken under our tenure of office to stop this wanton abuse of sole-sourcing as a method of government contract.”

“It is therefore his Excellency’s vision and leadership that we strengthen the law and provide the necessary support to ensure a successful implementation, hence the aptness of the appointment of a Minister of State in charge of procurement,” she assured.

Subsequently, the Minister admitted to the fact that the country’s procurement system was still vulnerable to its complexities.

“Stakeholders complain of unfair competition and there is a general perception of corruption surrounding the procurement processes,” she stated.

Commendation

In the midst of all these challenges, she commended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority, Agyenim Boateng Adjei and staff of the outfit for remaining resolute in delivering their core mandate.

To that end, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who was the special guest of honour, reminded ministers and heads of government department and agencies that they would have to account to Ghanaians for every action they take or fail to take while in office.

Warning

“For all of you here, at one time or the other, you will be held accountable for your stewardship of the various institutions that you are in. One of the key areas of accountability will be procurement, because this is where we are able to protect the public purse,” he told participants at the six-day workshop.

“So as well as protecting the public purse, I think this training programme will also help you to protect yourselves, going down the line, because at one point or the other you will be asked to account for your stewardship,” he noted.

The Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, who chaired the programme, commended Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei and Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo for putting the training regime together and tasked participants to pay close attention in order not to fall foul of the law in the discharge of their duties.

Stop Contract Abrogation

Meanwhile, the Procurement Minister has expressed concern about recent media publications regarding abrogation of government contracts by some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), as well as Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

She has, therefore, advised all heads of entities in such assemblies and agencies to refer all such questionable contracts to her office for expert and legal advice.

“The Minister has no doubt about the competence of heads of entities to make a judgement on what a good contract is from a bad one, however, she believes it is always important to seek legal and expert advice before a decision to abrogate a contract is taken,” a statement from Ms Safo’s office stated.

The Dome Kwabenya MP indicated that the move will prevent any unnecessary legal battles between government and contractors which could spark needless and avoidable payment of judgement debts.
She therefore issued a letter to all heads of entities within MMDAs and MDAs to stop terminating contracts forthwith.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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