The vision of the Board is to have a world class efficient, transparent, accountable and professionally managed public sector procurement in Ghana which enjoys a high level of business confidence and ensures consistent attainment of the best value for money in the public procurement of goods, works and services in support of national development and physical policies.
As Chief Executive Officer, I uphold the vision of the Board and wish to work tirelessly for the attainment of the directions and objective of the Board. Since assumption of duty, some eight (8) months ago, I have dedicated my time, knowledge, experience and expertise in the establishment of policies and strategies in conjunction with Board members and management staff.
It is my desire that Ghana will continue to hold the lead role in public procurement reforms among its peers and to adopt best public procurement practices consistent with international best practices in public sector procurement. It is also my desire that entities will obtain the requisite training in public sector procurement to enable them implement the various provisions of the law effectively.
An efficient public sector procurement system will no doubt reduce poverty, create wealth and ensure good governance, transparency, reduce corruption and improve the entire public financial management system.
Since independence, Ghana has attempted to address weaknesses in its public procurement process by the passage of several financial and legal instruments. These have come in the form of constitutional, legislative instruments, administrative instructions and financial circulars.
In 1960, the Government enacted the Ghana Supply Commission Act which was reviewed later in 1990 by PNDC law 245. In the same year, Contracts Act, Act 25 of 1960 was also passed. In 1976, the National Procurement Agency Decree SMCD 55 was passed by the Supreme Military Council. In 1979, another law, the Financial Administration Decree SMCD 221 was also passed. All these laws, decrees and instruments were meant to provide a comprehensive framework of administrative powers to regulate the activities of procurement within the public sector.
Unfortunately, none of these legal frameworks included the establishment of an effective oversight body to oversee the successful implementation of these laws. Both the Ghana Supply Commission and National Procurement Agency were established as Central Procurement Agencies which were involved directly in frontline procurement and therefore did not perform oversight responsibility.
These procurement regimes, no doubt, led to a system which was characterized by unclear legal framework, lack of harmonized procedures and regulations and unclear institutional and organizational arrangement required in the management of the public procurement process. It became clear therefore that, there was the need to critically examine the processes and procedures of public sector procurement to ensure operational efficiency and institutional capacity to address procurement issues.
It is worth mentioning that public procurement represents about 24% of total imports of this country and apart from personal emoluments, public procurement represents between 50-70% of the national budget. Public Procurement represents 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). You will therefore agree with me that an improvement in the public procurement process will in no doubt create wealth and reduce poverty.
It is in the light of these challenges that the government after a major review of its public expenditure system, in 1993, decided to establish a comprehensive public financial reform programme designed to strengthen its Public Financial Management System. This reform programme known as PUFMARP, became operational in 1995. The objective of PUFMARP was to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in the public financial management system. A major component of the PUFMARP programme was the Public Procurement Reforms. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in 1999 established a steering committee known as Public Procurement Oversight Group (PPOG) to assist in the design of a comprehensive public procurement reform programme. The group completed one its major objectives by drafting a public procurement bill in September 2002. The draft bill was finally passed into law on 31 December 2003 and was called Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663).
The Act essentially provides a framework for developing and strengthening procurement institutions and streamlining their operational processes in the context of poverty reduction, private sector development and good governance as well as anti-corruption.
Part 1, Section 1 of the Public Procurement Act, established the Public Procurement Board, with an object to streamline and harmonise public procurement processes to secure judicious, economic and efficient use of public funds and ensure that public procurement will be carried out in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. The Board has several functions, the major ones being the formulation of policies and regulations, training and capacity building; development of local industries; monitoring and evaluation and ensuring that public procurement is mainstreamed into public financial management system.