Ghana’s Civil Service and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to license procurement officers across the country.
The agreement is aimed at ensuring transparency, accountability and professionalism in procurement practice in the country.
The MoU was signed in Accra to climax the 3rd Procurement and Supply-chain Management Summit on the theme: “Advancing the frontiers of procurement and supply-chain management system in Ghana.”
Civil service to ensure professionalism
According to the Managing Director of the CIPS, Africa, Mr Andrew Coetzee, the agreement was a public statement by Ghana’s Civil Service that it was going to ensure professionalism within the service.
He said the move was significant because procurement was not recognised as a strategic function but rather seen as a back-room function, thus discouraging qualification.
He observed that procurement over the years had always allowed anyone at all to practise, a situation that had a negative impact on countries and organisations.
Touching on the negative impacts of practising without professionalism, he said: “If you consider the recent tragedies we’ve witnessed, you can trace it to bad procurement and bad supply-chain.
In many instances, the contracts were not fully proofed, the materials were not specified correctly, so bad procurement can surely maim and kill people.”
He pointed out that the agreement would, therefore, bring qualified people on board to contribute to the advancement of the sector.
Initiative to move procurement to higher height
For his part, the Class Head of Procurement and Supply-chain Management of the Civil Service, Dr Tett Affotey-Walter, said apart from the government recognising procurement as a discipline in the civil service, the move was the first collaboration with an international professional body that supervised procurement and supply-chain worldwide to help improve upon the profession in Ghana.
He said CIPS had come to help move the procurement and supply-chain practice to higher heights so that Ghana could also derive benefits that procurement was giving to other countries.
He explained that the licensing of professionals was also to bring decorum into the profession in the monitoring and evaluation of certified members.
Dr Affotey-Walter said a person must be proved to be a qualified procurement person or must have studied procurement at the polytechnic and be ready to upgrade in order to be recruited into the procurement and supply-chain management.
“We are on the path to ensure that anyone who practises procurement in this country will be licensed. By the time we go through all our processes, we would have to get every procurement professional licensed. This is also to sanitise those who practise procurement in the country,” he said.