Minister of State in charge of Government Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has stated that corruption should be made a high risk activity to achieve the “Ghana Beyond Aid” initiative
Public officers who are found liable of the act, she said, should be severely punished to serve as deterrent to others.
She lamented the alarming quantum of resources and revenues being lost through corruption and mis-procurement.
The Minister, also Deputy Majority leader in Parliament, offered the suggestion in a welcome address she delivered on Saturday at a workshop in Koforidua, for leadership of Parliament and selected parliamentary committees on public procurement .
Organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Procurement, the theme of the workshop was, ‘Enhancing parliamentary oversight through public procurement.”
According to her, 80% of negative findings captured in the Auditor General’s report are public procurement malpractices.
“This is quite worrying in view of the fact that public procurement accounts for about 70% of government expenditure, presenting a huge chunk of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Yet the existence of corruption, conflict of interest, collusion and fraud poses a major threat to judicious utilization of public funds.”
She indicated that the role of the legislature in setting legal framework and providing oversight responsibility is very important in enhancing procurement systems of the country.
“Members of Parliament play a crucial role through its oversight function, thus the need to build capacity of our legislature in the area of Public Procurement.”
“Good public procurement practices, laws and regulations have direct impact on the successful delivery of government projects and public services.”
“It ensures sound public financial management by delivering value for money in government expenditure and encourages private sector growth and investment and reduces corruption.”
Topics selected for the training included Legal framework of public procurement in Ghana and the Role of parliament in ensuring value for money.
According to the Deputy Majority leader the topics would help deepen the knowledge of the leadership and understanding in laws, rules, regulations, manuals, guidelines and procedures governing procurement of goods and services.
Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, in a short remark questioned whether the passage of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) has been beneficial to the country and Ghanaians.
He argued challenges in the procurement processes are mainly attitudinal and noted it is not easy to be in position of influence in Ghana with respect to procurement.
Political demands, he said, continue to worsen anomalies in the procurement procedure as party followers demand share in contracts for helping a party come to power.
Mubarak Muntaka indicated the bottom line is to prevent corruption in procurement and ensure efficiency of delivery for the country’s development.