Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has asked political leaders to always be mindful of a judgement day in order not to allow political power to corrupt them.
He said leaders of today must take a cue from what was happening to some past government officials and be reminded that one day they would also be asked to account for their stewardship.
He said cases of alleged conflict of interest over award of contracts and other acts of mismanagement against former government officials were enough warning to the current ministers to undertake their duties devoid of acts of malfeasance.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu gave the advice when regional ministers and their deputies, as well as regional co-ordinating directors, who were attending a day’s workshop on public procurement planning and implementation called on him at the Manhyia Palace yesterday.
The Asantehene was particularly concerned about the award of contracts and said that was one area ministers could easily fall foul of the law.
Consequently, he told them to be circumspect while undertaking their duties, so that the people of Ghana would derive what was best from them.
He said the procurement of goods and services should be done strictly according to laid-down laws.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu described the workshop as very important and, therefore, asked the ministers to take it seriously.
He noted that procurement matters were tricky and called for people with clear minds to act on them.
Otumfuo said many people in the country were living in poverty, so the ministers had a responsibility to bring them out of their hardships.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku Manu, led the ministers and the co-ordinating directors to the Manhyia Palace
Earlier during the opening of the workshop, Prof Newman Kwadwo Kusi, acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, observed that public sector financial management now occupied the heart of economic policy in the country.
He noted that the growing budget deficit and the resultant debt servicing costs in the country reflected both the complexity and difficulty in addressing the multiple dimensions of public financial management and the failure of past policies.
Prof Kusi said based on the past financial experiences of the country and the problems confronting them, a key area that presented itself for serious attention was public expenditure management.
He indicated that there were a number of issues with the current legal and institutional framework for public procurement that needed to be addressed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr A.B. Adjei, told government organisations that it was illegal for them to undertake procurement on their own on the basis that funding did not come from the government.
He said the PPA had its independence with regards to investigations on procurement.