Opinion

Is the PPA shakedown translating into action?

On Friday 30th October 2020, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo fired the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority. He was suspended on 22nd August 2019 following the broadcast of allegations made against him in Manasseh Azure Awuni’s “Contracts for Sale” documentary. His firing is a signal that the government is serious about its fight against corruption. What is the way forward? How does the government ensure that this doesn’t continue? Is the contracts for sale expose enough to prevent ongoing meddling in the world of procurement?

About 3 weeks ago, there was an article entitled, “A Call for Transparency: PPA Takes Steps to Address Lack of Fairness in Large GRA Procurement, but More Needs to be Done”.

Based on the article, The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had awarded a 5-year Digital Tax Stamp (DTS) solution procurement contract in the amount of $73,270,000 to De La Rue. It reeks of meddling on GRA’s part.

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) had temporarily suspended the DTS contract in response to inquiries by parties which submitted bids. Has this review been undertaken? What was the outcome?

Will this be swept another the carpet as done in other instances or will the PPA do the right thing and provide concerned parties with the information requested for?

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA), is supposed to be the regulatory body responsible for the effective implementation of the Public Procurement Law. Hopefully they will live up to their tagline of improving efficiency and transparency in public procurement.

The public has a right to know what really happened. Did GRA award the contract to De La Rue as a favour to someone? Who else is behind this deal? Are there facilitators who left the GRA boss with no other choice than to award the contract to De La Rue even though other bidders where equally or more qualified? What set De La Rue apart? How did they outbid the other entities that submitted proposals?

The public is monitoring this story closely. We want to know how this unfolds. PPA this is a call to action. Ensure that GRA does the right thing.

Columnist: Frank Amponsah

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