The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu, has called on ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to plug loopholes in procurement processes to ensure value for money for the nation.
He observed that between 75 and 77 per cent of the annual national budget was spent on the procurement of goods and services and, therefore, MDAs had the responsibility to seal all loopholes that allowed unscrupulous people to manipulate the system for personal gain.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Majority Leader in Parliament, made the call when he inaugurated the nine-member Entity Tender Committee of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) in Accra yesterday[.
The committee is to ensure that due processes in the procurement of goods and services in the ministry are duly followed.
Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu is the Chairman of the committee, with the Senior Manager in charge of Procurement and Supply Chain at the ministry, Francis T. Boateng, as the Secretary.
The other members are the Chief Director of the ministry, Dr Evans Aggrey-Darko, Kwame Oppong-Ntim, Emmanuel Osei Owusu, Dr Ebenezer Esilfie Baiden, Albert L.Ashong- Lamptey, Gifty Joyce Oteng Bosomprah, Justina Bediako and Heidi-Marie Boakye.
Expenditure on procurement
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said having such a committee in the ministry or MDAs was key to the prudent management of resources because the government spent the biggest chunk of its money on procurement.
Emphasising the importance of the entity committee, the minister said: “It has become important that we have this structure within the set up of all MDAs because the nation spends quite a lot on procurement.
“In any budget, if you take out statutory payments, including the amount set aside for debt servicing and the payment of emoluments, it’s left with the outstanding amount on which, on a yearly basis, the government spends between 75 and 77 per cent on procurement, which is why we should get it right.”
The minister said the absence of a procurement team in a government organisation was likely to lead to money set aside for development projects being diverted into individual pockets.
“If we don’t get it right, the nation will not have value for money and a lot of money allocated for public goods will end up in the pockets of individuals and the nation will not have value for the expenditures we incur day in, day out,” he said.
Submitting to law
Furthermore, he noted that the ministry, by setting up the committee, was going by the laws of the country, which mandated MDAs to have entity tender committees in their respective organisations.
“We are submitting to the law, and the law provides that within the ministry, we have an entity tender committee,” he said.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu expressed confidence in the committee and hoped that due processes would be followed anytime the ministry wanted to engage in any procurement activity.
“We hope that with the ushering in of this entity tender committee for the ministry, the right things will be done and due process, as established by law, will be followed through, so that we will have, as a ministry and a nation, value for money,” he said.
The Public Procurement (Amendment) Act 2016 (Act 914) provides the functions of an entity tender committee of a central management agency, ministry, department and subvented agency as:
• review and approve annual procurement plans and quarterly updates of procurement plans in order to ensure that they support the objectives and operations of the entity;
• confirm the range of acceptable costs of items to be procured and match these with the available funds in the approved budget of the entity;
• review the schedules of procurement and specifications and ensure that the procurement procedures to be followed are in strict conformity with the provisions of this act, the regulations and guidelines made under this act;
• ensure that the necessary concurrent approval is obtained from the appropriate tender review committee, where applicable, as specified in the Second Schedule;
• facilitate contract administration and ensure compliance with reporting requirements under this act; and
• assist the head of entity to ensure that stores, vehicles and equipment are disposed of in accordance with this act.