Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) in Accra, making it the first country in the West Africa sub-region to establish an electronic procurement system for the public sector.
Designed by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), in partnership with the European Dynamics, the e-procurement system and formed part of the World Bank’s e-Transform Project- a sponsored project launched in 2014 to support Ghana’s on-going effort to improve the efficiency and coverage of government service delivery using Information and Communication Technology.
Dr. Bawumia, in a keynote address at the official launch of the e-Procurement System said government’s “soft infrastructure”, such as the paperless ports system, smart vehicle registration, digital property address system, national identification system, mobile money interoperability and e-business registration, which would formalize the economy towards achieving the “Ghana beyond aid” agenda.
The electronic system is designed to address corruption in procurement by minimizing human face-to-face interaction, and increase productivity for both Procurement Officers and Service Providers. It will also enable service providers to respond to tenders, seek clarification and other information from the comfort of their offices via the internet.
He added that the system would eradicate middle men from the procurement processes. He added that the system would complement other programmes being rolled out by government since it assumed office in 2017.
The system will, in addition greatly reduce the incidence of paper transactions in procurement processes as well as the time and risks associated with tender submissions.
In line with international best practice, Ghana’s E-procurement system uses the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) for its reporting and display of information. So, information is available at each stage of the procurement process.
Phase 1 of the e-procurement system has begun with five (5) government agencies -Department of Feeder Roads, Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Health Service, Koforidua Technical University and Tema Metropolitan Assembly and will lead up to Phase 2.
Phase II is expected to start at the end of June 2019 till the end of 2020 and will cover all 34 Ministries, Public Universities, Metropolitan Assemblies and some selected Departments and Agencies.
Dr. Bawumia explained that the goal for the system is to usher Ghanaians into the digital age and make processes easier and more transparent for individuals and organizations.
“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,” Dr. Bawumia indicated.
“As a government, we are fully committed to improving transparency and efficiency in the procurement process. With this end-to-end modular e-procurement system and its integration with other government systems – such as Register General’s Department, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana E-Payment Portal, etc., and eventually with GIFMIS- we get closer to this objective.”
Dr. Bawumia commended the Board, Management and Staff of the Public Procurement Authority as well as the Minister and staff of the Ministry of Communications for their efforts at tackling procurement fraud, commenting that it would save Ghana many productive man-hours and revenue lost through theft.
“Ghana is indeed entering a new dawn in public procurement. It will soon be a thing of the past where service providers have to travel distances to access tender documents, submit tenders or seek clarifications.
“Use of Tender Boxes will be history. Now your computer is your Tender Box. Civil Societies and for that matter, the general public no longer have to go to public entities requesting information on its procurement activities… The e-procurement system is another step aimed at curbing the canker of corruption in our public procurement processes.”
M.r Adjenim Boateng Adjei, the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), in his welcome address, noted that after nearly seven years of the e-Ghana Procurement Project started, the Akufo-Addo’s administration had shown extra determination to transition key Fiduciary institutions from manual operations to digital systems.
He said the Government’s zeal motivated him to sign a contract with the European Dynamics in May 2017 to rekindle the e-GP Project and kicked started the operationalization of the novelty system.
“We at the Authority are keen to see to the full and complete implementation of this system across all the public entities as part of the measures to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency in the procurement landscape in the country,” Mr Adjei emphasized.
He added that the PPA had redesigned its website which is user-friendly and easy to navigate and thus, commended all entities that supported such a laudable initiative.