The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Africa, has lauded government for sticking to the default method of procurement in executing it programmes.
According to the Institute, the state stands not only to reduce corruption, but also save up to 30 percent of the procurement cost, if continues to use competitive methods of bidding for government projects.
“We want to laud government for going by its word of using competitive bidding processes in implementing some of the initiatives that it wants to do, such as the “One District One Factory One”.
We saw the expression of interest, calling on Ghanaians to put in their bid. That is all we have been advocating because the Public Procurement Act explains that the default method for our procurement of goods and services is competitive bidding,” said Simon Annan, Ghana Deputy Chair, Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, Africa.
Competitive bidding or tender as oppose to sole or single sourcing, the CIPS explains, could save the country several millions of Cedis, which could be used for other far-reaching developmental programmes.
“Research has indicated that we can save 30 percent of the cost of the procurement using competitive bidding and if you estimate that for the One District One Factory programme and the One Village One Dam, then, we are talking millions of dollars which could be channelled to other sectors that need more funding like the power sector, education and health, among others,” he told the B&FT in Accra.
The new public procurement legislation “Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663), was passed in 2016 as part of efforts to strengthen the regulations regarding the purchase of public goods and services in a manner that promotes efficiency, fair competition and accountability in the use of the public purse.
Section 35 (Part 1) of the law requires a procurement entity to procure goods, services or works by competitive tendering.
The challenge over the years, he noted, is that government has not been able to enforce the default method for procurement —competitive tender, and that because the single sourcing is also a method of procurement, it has often led to public officials using it for their selfish interest.
Mr. Annan, who is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, UK, opined that almost all major corruption scandals that have hit the country are linked to procurement, hence it was important that the government kept to competitive bidding, which has proved to be one of the surest ways of safeguarding the public purse.
“In the past, it was always a challenge. People used the single sourcing and find all sorts of excuses for it, but we think that government has taken a bold step to advertise and to open up the whole process of procurement and this deserves commendations,” he extolled.
He further stressed the readiness of the CIPS to partner the government to consolidate the procurement landscape, adding: there is any technical support they need, we are ready to support government in that area.