'Huge disconnect' between buying strategies and budgets in Ghana Civil Service

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
28 May 2013

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Procurement strategy in the Ghana Civil Service needs to be more closely aligned to overall government goals and budgets, according to a senior purchasing professional.

Speaking at the CIPS Pan-Africa Conference last week, Tett Affotey-Walters, director of the Ghana procurement civil service and former deputy director of procurement for the Ghana Health Service, highlighted the importance of designing the acquisition strategy to fit with the national budget. He said there is currently a “huge disconnect” between the two.

One of the main issues he identified was a time lag between procurement strategy development and the budget being announced.
During his seminar, Affotey-Walters advocated that buyers within the Ghana civil service look to the overall government objectives when setting their strategies rather than just considering those specific to procurement. “We should be looking to fulfil and enable the successful achievement of government objectives,” he said.

He urged buyers to broaden their knowledge base and not just read procurement and supply chain literature. “It is not good enough for us to only be reading procurement books,” he said.

One issue for procurement professionals in the civil service, he said, was a lack of formal classification of procurement as career path compared with finance or IT. That also affects their ability to attract the new generation of individuals into the profession.

To strengthen the function in Ghana, he said the civil service would be using the CIPS qualification as the “guiding principle” for buyers’ abilities and it would “champion the development of a professionally qualified cadre of professionals”.

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