Investigating the obstacles to the improvement of the procurement system in Public Tertiary Institutions in Ghana: a case study of the Sunyani Polytechnic

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The study aims at exploring the reasons why Sunyani Polytechnic, and the other public tertiary institutions, have not reached the level of “excellence” in their procurement performance. The study targeted groups in Sunyani Polytechnic who are the policy makers and/or implementers of policies with specific reference to procurement processes and issues. The study examined the caliber of staff who are directly or indirectly involved in the procurement function and how their attitude and performances affect the procurement system. They comprise the Top-Management or Principal Officer, Deans/Heads of Departments/Heads of Sections, Procurement Unit Staff and the Internal Audit Unit Staff. The questionnaire focused on four specific areas affecting procurement system, which are: how management systems in the school facilitate the procurement function; how the Deans, Heads of Department and Sectional Heads, contribute positively or otherwise towards the system; the activities of the procurement unit personnel; and the role of the internal audit unit in ensuring a well functioning procurement system. Generally, it was observed that even though the procurement system in Sunyani Polytechnic is quite efficient there is still much room for improvement, for instance, almost all the officers who are involved in the procurement system do not have the Procurement Act to work with, to enable the Polytechnic meet the performance standard as stipulated in the Act. The findings also indicated that there are both positive and negative concerns which eventually affect the procurement system. The study suggested, among others, that since the Public Procurement Act, 2003, is the principal statutory document governing public procurement activities in Ghana the Polytechnic’s Top-Management must ensure availability of copies to all heads of department/unit/section and also enforce compliance with the provisions in the Act. If all stakeholders affecting the procurement system in Sunyani Polytechnic play their roles efficiently and effectively most of the obstacles may be eliminated and the system will see much improvement.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Master in Business Administration,