The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, has stressed the need for strict adherence to realistic public procurement planning.

Hon. Sallas-Mensah, therefore, cautioned Heads of Institutions, Members of Entity Tender Committees and Procurement Officers against ad-hoc and unprofessional approaches to public procurement and to collaborate with PPA to achieve budget credibility and fiscal discipline in the wider Public Financial Management (PFM) efforts.

The PPA CEO, who was addressing the 7th PPA Forum in Accra on Wednesday, disclosed that to ensure the effective records management of procurement activities, PPA engaged the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) to develop Procurement Records Management Operational and Training Manuals.

He said the training manuals would form part of the Training Programme on Contract Management that PPA, with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), intended to roll out in 2016, adding that the initiative was expected to help procurement professionals and practitioners keep accurate procurement records for better accountability in the public procurement process.

He disclosed that in response to the global call for sustainable consumption and production, PPA, under its Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) project, embarked on a nation-wide training programme in 2014 in six regions—the Greater Accra, Western, Central, Eastern, Northern and the Upper West regions—from which 570 procurement practitioners benefitted.

Apart from this training programme, Hon. Sallas-Mensah said, a total of 493 public officials from the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) had also been trained on various provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

Furthermore, he said, to develop a highly-motivated and skilled set of procurement professionals, for enhanced public procurement management in the country, PPA, with support from development partners, had arranged various long-term and short-term local and international programmes for a number of its staff.

In addition, Hon. Sallas-Mensah said, the year 2014 also saw PPA undertaking a number of Communication and Advocacy activities to create the needed awareness and enhance the visibility of PPA’s activities and programmes.

He said PPA, in the spirit of peer-learning, therefore, embarked on study tours to some selected Public Procurement Regulatory Institutions in Africa, under the African Development Bank-Ghana Institutional Support Project (GISP).

Institutions visited, he said, included the Public Procurement & Assets Disposal Board (PPADB) in Botswana; Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) in Kenya; and the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) in Malawi.

He mentioned the others as the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) in Rwanda; Public Procurement and Regulatory Authority and the Public Procurement Appeals Authority (PPRA & PPAA) in Tanzania; and the Public Procurement and Disposal Authority (PPDA) in Uganda.

He disclosed that the Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which addresses weaknesses in the current Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and introduces sustainable public procurement framework contracting and electronic procurement, had been gazetted and was currently before Parliament for passage into law.

According to a Memorandum to the Bill, the Amendment takes account of current international best practices to remove the delays caused by the hierarchical structures of the procurement system and improve public procurement efficiency.

The amendment, the Memorandum indicates, also aims to provide for decentralized procurement and includes new provisions from the revised United Nations Commission on International Trade Model Law (UNCITRAL) on procurement as well as provisions for the fair, equal and equitable treatment of suppliers and contractors, and for the promotion of integrity and public confidence in the procurement process.

Meanwhile President John Dramani Mahanma, in February, this year, and in accordance with section 4(2) of Act 663, appointed and inaugurated a nine-member Governing Board for the PPA, with Alhaji Abukari Sumani as Chairman.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)