Christopher Arko, GNA
(E/R), July 15, GNA – Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, has
encouraged Members of Parliament (MPs) to show keen interest in public
procurement processes at the local level, to enhance legislative oversight.
MPs, he said,
were required to sit on the Entity Tender Committees (ETC) of the Metropolitan,
Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to guide them on the law.
He was speaking
at the opening of a two-day workshop for the leadership of parliament and
selected parliamentary committees in Koforidua.
was organized by the Ministry of Public Procurement and focused on parliament’s
role in ensuring the protection of the public purse.
Parliamentary oversight through public procurement”, was the theme chosen for
reminded the MPs to make sure that they performed roles assigned them by law
more effectively and said their role should not be limited just to what was
brought to them in the House.
the biggest challenge facing the country’s public procurement practices as the
issue of dishonesty - the lack the integrity.
“As a people we
should be bold and admit that we are dishonest, we do not like following
He said it was
time everybody recognized that things had changed and that people would be
required to be more open and accountable to the public.
for those of us in the public sector, we must understand that the days we
shared information we wanted the public to know is over.
find the information wherever it is, they would give the interpretation that
they want” he added.
Ms. Sarah Adwoa
Sarfo, Minister of State for Public Procurement, said the goal was to build the
capacity of parliament to enable it to use its oversight role to fight corrupt
in the public procurement arena.
The chunk of
government resources - about 50 to 70 per cent of government expenditure, goes
into public procurement.
she noted, had come at an opportune time to strengthen the oversight functions
of parliament, to oversee the work of the executive, peruse loan agreements and
ensure efficient public procurement.
the importance of the Entity Tender Committees, saying, these were meant to
make sure that the procurement laws were followed, to prevent corruption,
collusion and fraud.
called for collaboration between her Ministry, the Attorney General’s
Department and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to ensure that
recommendations from the Public Accounts Committee, Auditor General’s Report
and findings against people who were in clear breach of the law were punished.
Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, made reference to a World Bank report, he said,
showed that the passage of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) had not
significantly contributed to reducing corruption in Ghana.
He said there
was therefore the need for more to be done in terms of reforms, adding that,
parliament had a responsibility to the exercise its oversight to help safeguard
the public purse.