THE Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffour, has stated that the government will take a closer look at how every pesewa of the taxpayer’s money is spent to ensure value for money.
Stressing that currently about 70 per cent of the national tax revenue was spent on public procurement, the minister indicated that good procurement practices could save about 30 per cent of product cost, which should not be left to chance.
Dr Duffour stated this in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Cynthia Bediako of the ministry, at the inauguration of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Zonal Office of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in Kumasi on Wednesday.
The zonal office is the first on a list of five to be opened in the country as part of efforts by the PPA to decentralise its operations.
The finance minister called on suppliers to endeavour to provide quality goods for their clients.
“It is very disheartening when customers seek quality items but are constantly confronted with highly inferior products,” he said.
Dr Duffuor charged the PPA, particularly the new zonal office, to develop indicators that would enable the government to assess the gains made as a result of the implementation of the Act.
He gave the assurance that the government would go the extra mile to ensure the full implementation of the internationally accepted practices in public procurement.
The finance minister touched on some of the challenges that emerged from the assessment of various procurement entities over the past five years. This, he said, “had necessitated the drive to bring some functions of the oversight authority closer to the districts and local levels to facilitate implementation and monitor the performance of entities”.
The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the ceremony, commended the Mills government for continuing the good programmes and policies of the previous government to enhance the national development process.
Citing the Public Procurement Act as one typical policy, he said this was a mark of good governance, and added that the nation needed to get value for money in the implementation of the Act.
Oheneba Poku called on Ghanaians to support the government as it moved to instil discipline in the administration of national resources.
The Chief Executive of the PPA, Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei, said the PPA had so far trained over 8,000 functionaries through its nationwide short-term training programmes in a bid to instil discipline in the implementation of the Act.
He, however, said there was still a lot to do to entrench efficiency and best practices into the procurement profession.
He expressed concern about the poor results of the annul procurement assessment of entities that were far away from Accra and said that motivated them to start the opening of zonal offices.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, expressed the conviction that the presence of the PPA in the region would help streamline the procurement functions of the ministries, departments and agencies.