Ghana’s Public Procurement Authority has revealed plans to award all public contracts through the Ghana Electronic Procurement System by the end of 2023.
In 2019 SM reported that Ghana claimed to have become the first country in West Africa to establish an e-procurement system for public sector purchasing.
But the rollout seems to be taking somewhat longer than expected. During a three-week e-procurement training workshop in the Eastern Region in Koforidua, acting PPA chief executive Frank Mante said while several public bodies were already using the system, the government planned to make it mandatory for public bodies.
Mante said the system would be rolled out in phases to ensure all public procurement officers can be trained to use it.
The electronic system aims to curb irregularities and unnecessary costs in the procurement process and guard against cartels being formed to bid for public contracts, according to Mante.
The PPA has set up a help desk to support procuring bodies as well as suppliers.
The Ghana Revenue Authority and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust have full visibility into the system to ensure companies taking part in public tenders are fully up to date with paying taxes and social security.
A benefit of the digital platform for suppliers should be swift payments through the integrated financial management information system. Mante said.
Eastern regional minister Seth Kwame Acheampong told procurement practitioners attending the course: "The onus now lies on you... to go out into your various institutions to make this positive change in your procurement process a reality.
“You are now the pioneers and game changers for this country when it comes to public procurement processes.”
Ghana’s government has also announced that 20% of public procurement spend will now be awarded to businesses owned by women, to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the incomes of women in the country.
Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta said women would also be supported with training programmes and gender-sensitive bank lending policies.
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