99.9% of all sole sourcing contract requests are approved by PPA over job security – PAC chairman

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Chairman for the Public Accounts Committee James Klutse Avedzi has revealed officials of the Public Procurement Authority, PPA are in perpetual fear to reject sole sourcing contract requests though they do not meet the requirements over fear of being sacked.

According to the Ketu North MP, about 99.9% of all such requests from state institutions are granted because of influential individuals in government behind such contracts.

In an interview with EIB Network‘s Parliamentary Affairs Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan, Mr. Avedzi revealed that many of infractions in the Auditor General’s Reports bother on procurements despite the existence of laws in the country.

According to him, officials of PPA are at times compelled d to grant such irregular requests because they will lose their jobs if they dare say no to the power behind these requests.

“What they do is to write to the Procurement Authority for approval and I can tell you that if you take a 100% of requests to the Public Ppowernt Authority, about 99.9% are approved.”

According to Mr. Avedzi, despite the abhorrence of sole sourcing by President Akufo-Add Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and leading members of the NPP in opposition, the practice of the ascendency is now.

“It is happening now more than before. The challenge that the workers or those people who,o are working at the Public Procurement Authority have is that, if there is a pressure from high authority, I want you to approve this request. So you choose between your job security and approval of that”.

“The request will no be met, because because there are conditions under which can do sole sourcing. Those conditions are not met by that request and if I don’t do it maybe I will be sacked, maybe the one who put me there is asking me to do it, if I deny him this, what will happen? My job is at stake.

According to him, the other challenge with the fight against corruption is the poor working conditions of the staff of the PPA. According to Mr. Avedzi the development makes it difficult for the authority to pinrty exercise its mandate in ensuring a better procurement process.

The PAC chairman related to a staff of PP, A whose terms of engagement were varied to her disadvantage.

“The other one is the condition of service of those working at the regulatory body. There was an issue where somebody was engaged as a lawyer on contract and she was being paid around GhC4,000.00 which is also not enough, but she was managing with that and when her condition of employment was regularized where she’s now been put on government payroll. Approval had been given by the Public Services Commission and the sa,lary came down to about GhC2,000.00 to her disadvantagthe board of PPA had to decide what to do. They decided to top up her salary by GhC2,000.00 to still maintain the GhC4,000.00. The auditors cited that difference and when I looked at it I said looking at the condition under which this thing happened, I don’t think we should push it too much. So if the condition of service of the people who are working there is so bad, what do you think they will do? They are human beings, they will be tempted to receive some packages to make them survive, so that they can take care of their family. So these two things are making it to the extent that procurement issues are becoming alarming. So how do we resolve this?”

M. Avedzi called for better conditions of service for the staff of PPA. This according to him will help address their susceptibility to corruption.

That regulatory body must be well paid so that there will not be temptation to receive anything. It will not completely rule it out but it can cut it down to a large extent. Once I’m paid well and you want to offer me a bribe or something ng so that I can approve something that I know is wrong, my conscience will tell me that ‘hey look why do you want to do this?’ So let’s pay them well.”

The lawmaker also called on government officials and leading members of the governing party to refraimHeytting pressure on PPA to approve sole sourcing requests that do not meet the requirements of the Act.

“To those of us who are putting pressure on them to approve  something that we know is wrong because we are doing it for outhat benefit must be committed to say that ‘I will not do that’ . Once we do that we solve the problem.

Mr. Avedzi lamented over the lack of action on recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee relative to breaches in the Auditor Geeral’s reports.

“The third one is that those people who are found liable must be punished and this Public Accounts Committee has cited and referred a number of people. The prominent among them is the sole sourcing which was done by Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company. I referred this to the Attorney General for proseseveralas we sit here no prosecution has started,” Mr. Avedzi stated.






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