Law to regulate procurement, supply in the offing

BY: Jessica Acheampong
Mr Basil Ahiable, Chairman, Council of GIPS
Mr Basil Ahiable, Chairman, Council of GIPS

The Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS) is working on a law to regulate the procurement and supply chain profession in the country.

The legislation is to help reduce breaches, infractions and unprofessional tendencies in the procurement and supply front and also make it difficult for non-professionals to dabble in the profession.

The Chairman of the GIPS Council, Mr Basil Ahiable, said at the induction of members of the institute in Accra that the council was currently working with the Executive Committee to find a consultant to draft the bill.

Once ready, Mr Ahiable said: “Council will liaise with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Parliament and the government to ensure that the bill is expeditiously passed into law.”

Prosecutions

He was optimistic that a legislated profession such as the procurement and supply chain practice would contribute immensely to recruiting the right people with the right skills and ethics for institutions and the public service.

That, he said, should reduce drastically the incidence of corrupt practices in the procurement and supply function.

“Where recalcitrant professionals are identified, their licences will be withdrawn and shamed. This will be without recourse to the necessary prosecutorial actions the state may want to embark on,” he warned.

Serving as think tank

The Chairman of the GIPS Council also underscored the need for procurement and supply chain professionals to “live above board and work as professionally and ethically as possible and defend the profession at all times.”

We also need to continuously upgrade our skills in and outside of our profession and serve as a think tank when it comes to procurement and supply matters.

“Our contributions and suggestions should be seen as the only preferred solutions to specific procurement problems at stake,” he said.

As a result, he said, the council had resolved to prioritise advocacy and knowledge sharing in the course of its work.

He bemoaned the current practice where airwaves and social media platforms are replete with “fallacious procurement arguments with misplaced conclusions.”

He said it was sad that some of those conclusions sometimes found their way into national policy documents.

As a result, he said the council would put in place relevant measures to help address the gaps in the profession and safeguard the integrity of the profession.

Uphold integrity

A management consultant and Board Chairman of Scancom Ghana Limited, Dr Ishmael Yamson, who was the guest of honour, admonished practitioners to uphold integrity, transparency, credibility, fairness, accountability, responsibility and conscience in the discharge of their duties.

Once they did, Dr Yamson said they would create value for their organisations “and you will sleep in peace long after you have left office or retired.”

He said although procurement was viewed as a back office function, it now strategically at the forefront of every business, helping companies to deliver value and be competitive.

He, however, bemoaned the fact that in spite of the growing recognition of the procurement profession, the process in the country had become a major source of corruption and flagrant abuse of all corporate governance principles.

He thus called for a review of the Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) to reduce the powers of the President and make it more efficient towards creating value for the state beyond curbing corruption.

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