The Ministry of Public Procurement has inaugurated a Professional Ethics and Standards Committee to develop a code of conduct to deepen integrity, transparency and efficiency in the country's procurement system.
The code of conduct is to check corruption and conflict of interest situations in public procurement to ensure value for money in procurement activities.
The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, who inaugurated the committee said the code of conduct would set the highest ethical standards for benchmarking procurement practitioners, suppliers, members of the evaluation panel, members of the tender review committee, as well as contractors and service providers.
Besides, she said, the document would proffer sanctions for any breach of procurement processes.
Members of the committee are drawn from public and private institutions, including the Ministry of Public Procurement, the Attorney-General’s Department and Ministry of Justice, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain Management (CISCM) and the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS).
Ms Safo, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader, said breaches of the code of conduct would have disciplinary consequences or sanctions which might result in demotions, failed promotion, blacklisting or outright dismissal, cancellation or suspension of contracts and any other appropriate remedies.
Besides, she said, it would serve the interest of the public and public officials by maintaining and strengthening the public's trust and confidence in public institutions.
That, she said, would be achieved "by demonstrating the highest standards of professional competence, efficiency and effectiveness by upholding relevant international treaties or conventions, the constitution, procurement laws, regulations and manuals."
Best procurement practices
Ms Safo, urged procurement practitioners to be accountable for the decisions that they made and be prepared to legally justify their official decisions and actions.
“Procurement officers shall not use or misuse their position for private gain. This ethical standard, when breached, constitutes serious breach of professional integrity”, she said.
Ms Safo charged members of the committee to formulate a well-researched document within three months, which would guide and regulate the attitude, actions and behaviour of procurement practitioners.
In a remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the PPA, Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei, said procurement was an important tool that could support the development of a country.
He, however, expressed worry that some procurement practitioners connived with politicians to shortchange the country.