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Government is working on a policy document that will see 70 percent contracts go to local contractors.
The new policy, government believes, will help grow local businesses. This was disclosed by Minister of State in charge of procurement Sarah Adwoa Safo at a Press Soirée. According to the Minister, the new policy currently being developed will also reserve a 30% quota of all contracts for women.
“So the 70% and the 30% we will be engaging all of you. The 70% we are going to rely mostly on the data that we get from the Ministry of Trade because they have all that database. So we don’t have to reinvent the wheel on who our local companies are and what government can engage them on”
There have always been concerns about the capacity of local contractors to execute quality works. However, Adwoa Safo argues inherent in the new policy will be capacity building measures for the local contractors.
“When identifying these companies, we are also going to build their capacity as well to be able to be competitive and responsive bidders. It is not as if we are just putting together the policy and leave it as it is because we know that many of our local contractors will need a lot of capacity building in the procurement process to be able to take advantage of the contracts that come in,” she said.
According to the Dome Kwabenya MP, African countries like Kenya, Tanzania are already implementing similar policies aimed at empowering indigenous contractors.
Office of Special Prosecutor
The deputy majority leader also disclosed the yet to be established office of the Special Prosecutor will be clothed with the powers to prosecute public procurement infractions. Adwoa Safo believes existing legislations have not been effective in checking procurement excesses.
According to her, an audit of claims at the roads ministry for instance has revealed some road contractors moved to sites to execute projects without a written contract with government.
“In the office of special prosecutor bill emphasis is made there that the prosecutor will also be prosecuting procurement fraud and procurement malpractices. If you look at section 93 of the procurement act, it lists all the offences. There are criminal offences under procurement but nobody has ever been caught to face the full rigors of the law,” she noted.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor bill is currently before parliament.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Ibrahim Alhassan