Ghana has become the first country in the West Africa to introduce an electronic procurement system for its public sector.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia launching the e-procurement system in Accra, said it would address corruption in procurement procedures by minimising human face-to-face interaction, and increase productivity for both procurement officers and service providers.
“At the heart of government’s drive to digitize our economy is the need to facilitate the delivery of government services, formalize the economy, de-risk the business environment, and above all deal with matters of corruption,” Vice President Bawumia said.
The system, he explained, allows service providers – suppliers, consultants and contractors, to respond to tenders, seek clarifications and other information from the comfort of their offices via the internet.
The time and risks associated with tender submissions will be considerably reduced and/or eliminated.
In addition, there will be a considerable reduction in the use of paper associated with tendering, greater ease in monitoring and audit, increased accuracy in reporting and statistics, increase in participating suppliers in public procurement, increase in the number of tender responses and a reduction in procurement lead times.
He said the system uses the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) for its reporting and display of information, in line with international best practice.
Already, phase one of the system has begun with five government agencies – Department of Feeder Roads, Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Health Service, Koforidua Technical University and Tema Metropolitan Assembly – with Phase II, covering all 34 Ministries, Public Universities, Metropolitan Assemblies and some selected state departments and agencies, expected to start at the end of June 2019.
The phased roll-out is expected to continue until the end of 2020, during which all public entities will be expected to use the e-procurement system for their procurement activities, according to officials of the Public Procurement Authority.