16 July 2009 | Allie Anderson
Ghana's public procurement processes are held back by "considerable waste, fraud and corruption", a senior government official has said.
Minister of finance and economic planning, Kwabena Duffuor, made the remarks at the inauguration of the Central Tender Review Board, which has been set up to oversee public buying.
Launched in Accra earlier this month, the board's task is to ensure public procurement processes are fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. It will also set clearly defined standards and budgets in the delivery of
goods and services.
Duffuor said the government's bidding processes are currently rigid and incomprehensive. He said buyers sanction national contractors and suppliers rather than finding ways to support and empower smaller, local businesses.
"Experience has shown government institutions give more attention to procurement procedure than to performance, to process than to cost, and to their own perpetuation than efficient service delivery," he said. Through supporting local suppliers and promoting cost effectiveness, procurement could be seen as a means for better financial management and achieving economic and social objectives, said Duffuor.
In a separate speech earlier this month, the finance minister said economic stimulus projects such as the "growth and poverty reduction strategy", could be achieved through "strict adherence" to public procurement rules.