By Maxwell Ofori
The Akufo-Addo-led government has managed to significantly reduce procurement irregularities by 76%.
According to the 2017 Auditor General’s Report, “Procurement irregularities noted in the year (2017) reduced significantly from GH¢10,341,200.67 in 2016, to GH¢2,437,094.30 in 2017, representing a 76 per cent drop.
Titled Management and Utilisation of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund and other Statutory Funds for the financial year ending 31st December 2017, the report said three assemblies undertook uncompetitive procurement by making seven payments for goods and services, totalling GH¢191,133.50, without seeking alternative quotations from other prospective suppliers, or approval from the Public Procurement Authority.
The Tano South District procured fertilisers and maize at a cost of GH¢30,000; the Sunyani West District procured engine, streetlights and musical instruments, also at a cost of GH¢85,433.50; with Banda District buying rice and sugar at GH¢75,700, totalling GH¢191,133.50.
Section 20 of the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act 2016 (Act 914) requires procurement entities to request quotations from at least three different sources, but the directive was ignored. The report, therefore, noted that, “we could not confirm that the assemblies obtained value for money in the transactions,” adding, “the single source procurement could be opened to abuse or inflated prices of the items.”
The report urged the Coordinating Directors to ensure that procurements are always subjected to competition, in order to obtain maximum benefit from the transactions. It continued with a recommendation that the coordinating directors and finance officers be sanctioned by the Minister for Local Government, as contained in Section 92 of Act 663.