An evaluation of the Public Procurement Act – the case of Ghana Audit Service

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The government of Ghana spends between 65% and 70% of its annual budget on public procurement. Ghana, like other developing countries is the main provider of goods works and services and the importance of procurement cannot be overemphasized, as this is a tool for achieving political economic and social goals. Public sector bodies have to conduct public procurement according to public procurement law. Of late, much concern has been expressed about the mode of procurement and award of contract for the supply of goods, works and services in the country. Stakeholders are demanding competition. Economy, efficiency, transparency and accountability in public procurement operations as well as more effective and efficient use of public resources. The thesis highlighted the evaluation of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) - The case of Ghana Audit Service (GAS). Data on procurement for the two (2) years, 2006 and 2007 was analyzed. Questionnaires were sent out for the views of stakeholders on the implementation of PPA 2003 (Act 663), the procurement methods and the challenges. The goal of the study was to identify the effective planning, execution and monitoring of procurement operations, evaluation of the various procurement methods and the challenges faced by Ghana Audit Service (GAS) with regard to procurement in GAS in 2006-2007 fiscal years. The study also examined the current legal and regulatory framework of the PPA, 2003 (Act 663), organization of procurement, procuring entity’s capacity to conduct procurement, internal and external controls, anticorruption measures and prevailing practices and measures to improve procurement practices in GAS. The following tools were extensively used to achieve the objectives of the study; questionnaires, interview and observation. Data collection techniques such as listening, questioning, instructing and explaining were deployed as well. In the data analysis, a statistical package for social science software was utilized to analyze responses. During the study it was found that there was lack of requisite expertise and competent staff, inadequate training in the procurement profession and most of the entities had not set up procurement units. Templates were not ready before the take off; cost of advertising tenders is expensive while huge sitting allowances were paid to tender board members and entity tender committee members. The other findings bordered on poor and inadequate record keeping and documentation, lengthy payment procedures and delay in payment. The rest are doubts as to how open, competitive, transparent and cost effective the bidding process was, the need to increase the threshold and the over ambition of the proponents of the Act to fight corruption. The main findings of the study are as follows: - Most stakeholders favour open competitive tendering because it offers every eligible tenderer the opportunity to participate in the bidding process as it guarantees transparency although it could be expensive. Selective tendering guarantees value for money, as the tenderer is known by his track record though the process could be manipulated. Better remuneration in the Civil Service coupled with defined career path progression will attract trained procurement professionals into the procurement units in order to ensure professionalism. Training of the procurement staff should be intensified. Some aspects of the Act should be reviewed to increase the threshold.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 2008