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BOST, NPA, ECG OFFICIALS FOR PROSECUTION - Over procurement breaches

General News

The Public Procurement Authority has announced that officials of seven public agencies who have been found to have acted contrary to the Procurement Act are due for prosecution in the law courts for the alleged infractions, which led to the loss of huge sums of money to the state.

The Public Procurement Authority has announced that officials of seven public agencies who have been found to have acted contrary to the Procurement Act are due for prosecution in the law courts for the alleged infractions, which led to the loss of huge sums of money to the state.

 

The agencies in question are Electoral Commission, Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Limited, National Communications Authority, Ghana Airports Company Limited and Ghana Water Company Limited, National Petroleum Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana.

According to Rhoda Appiah, Head of Corporate Affairs and Administration at the Public Procurement Authority, the impending prosecution follows the completion of a probe into the circumstances under which the state lost huge sums of money through procurements made by the institutions.

Speaking on Joy FM yesterday, Mrs Appiah said the introduction of robust systems to check procurement abuses over the last eight months had started producing some positive results, including saving the nation over GHC100 million.

This amount, she explained, would have ended up in the pockets of some unscrupulous persons if the PPA had not put in place stringent measures.

“We have saved over 100 million Ghana cedis just within the last eight months all because we are able to see through the contracts that are brought; we know how padded they are. So contracts that would have gone for a 100 million cedis, we see that they are now going for 50 million or something lesser just because some due diligence is going on now,” she stressed.

Mrs Appiah added: “We are sending these reports and findings straight to EOCO for prosecution to begin.”

According to Mrs Appiah, some personnel of the institutions in some instances “tried to skew” contracts through various dubious means during the bidding process.

Throwing more light on the issue, she explained that some decided to advertise for bidding in very unpopular newspapers, even though the law required that it should be done in two widely circulated newspapers, while others did the adverts on “a holiday or a weekend in a corner somewhere.”

She added that while the PPA used to think the challenges in the procurement process had resulted from “institutional issues” or “capacity issues”, and so decided to commit resources into training the responsible officers, it had now emerged that they were deliberate crimes being perpetrated against the state by unscrupulous officials.

Mrs Appiah warned that the “honeymooning” period was over, and so the time had come for staff of public institutions who attempt to frustrate investigators from the PPA from doing their assigned duties to desist from such acts because “your mere effort to obstruct is punishable under the law.”