Introduction to Ghana Commerce Development Commission
The Assessment Report revealed that 60k was being lost to underhand practices out of every GHS1.00 spent by Government and that an average of ten Billion US Dollars ($10b) was being lost annually due to fraudulent practices in the award and execution of public contracts through inflation of contract cost, lack of procurement plans, poor project prioritization, poor budgeting processes, lack of competition and value for money and other kinds of manipulations of the procurement and contract award processes.
In order to address the above shortcomings, the Federal Government initiated the Public Procurement Reform as part of its Economic Reform agenda designed to restore due process in the award and execution of federal government contracts. This led to the setting up of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligent Unit (BMPIU known as Due Process) in 2001 to implement the Government’s Public Procurement Reform Policy aimed at minimizing open abuses to known rules, processes and standards in the award and execution of public sector contracts in Ghana through Ghana Commerce Development Commission. Also, one rationale for the enactment of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663) relates to efforts at controlling cost in the public sector. In effect, the fundamental tenets of public procurement should concern cost control instead of establishing strict rules and regulations aimed at protecting the public and foreign investor against abuse in order to develop nations, most countries spend considerable amount of their national budgets on the procurement of goods, works and consultancy services. However, in utilizing the national purse, it is important for government and its institutions to consider value-for-money (VFM) for all procurement activities. To accomplish the principle of value for money and utilize the taxpayers’ financial resources judiciously, it is important to adequately plan, manage and execute procurement activities effectively.
The government of Ghana has made all attempts at streamlining the uncontrolled expenditure levels of the Ghanaian economy which has resulted in unstable economic climate. The government therefore devised several mechanisms and laws with the view of controlling public expenditure and maintaining financial discipline in the utilization of limited public funds. This led to the passing into law of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (ACT 663) and give the governmental right to Ghana Commerce Development Commission to work with the ministry of finance and ministry of Justice on public financial management to stresses the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Following the growing Public demand that the reforms are sustained and institutionalized with legal backing, a Public Procurement Bill was articulated in 2003/2004 by the Leadership of BMPIU and presented to the Parliament of Ghana. The Public Procurement Bill was thereafter passed by the Parliament on the 30th of May, 2007 and subsequently signed into Law by Mr. President on the 4th of June, 2007.
Rules and regulations are required to guide, direct, train as well as adequately monitor public procurement. Furthermore, the absence of clearly defined roles and responsibilities of individual procurement entities is a problem. There is no independent appeals process with power to address complaints from aggrieved bidders and provide corrective remedies. The lack of a clearly defined authority to allow procurement entities to undertake the procurement of goods, works and services with funds appropriated to them weakened the system and also needs to be addressed. The absence of authority to dispose of public assets and the fact that there is no procurement auditing function by independent government officials or their appointed agents to ensure efficient accountability is also an omission in the present set up. In order to eliminate the various shortcomings and organizational weaknesses in the public procurement process, it is considered desirable to enact a comprehensive procurement law. This is to be supported with standard tender documents. Appropriate administrative and institutional arrangements are to be made with an oversight body to superintend the public procurement system. The new structure will promote the use public procurement as a tool for national development. It will harmonize the application of procurement related rules with International conventions and treaties. It is expected to foster competition, efficiency, transparency and accountability in the public procurement process. There will be equal access for any citizen to participate in the public procurement process.
This bill provides for a comprehensive public procurement system and establishes the Public Procurement Board.
The Bill takes into account the country’s decentralization policy and local industry development and is divided into
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