The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has created Due Diligence/Value for Money, and Procurement Audit units as part of efforts to forestall the wanton abuse of sole sourcing and restrictive tendering methods to award government contracts.
The Due Diligence /Value for Money Unit is to determine the reasonableness or otherwise of justifications provided by entities in their applications for sole source and restrictive tendering as they relate to the appropriate provisions of the Procurement Act.
The Procurement Audit Unit is responsible for the conduct of periodic procurement audits, investigations and procurement performance assessment exercises to assess the level of compliance of procuring entities in respect to the procurement law.
Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei, Chief Executive Officer of PPA, announced this in Tamale on Thursday during the opening of a training on Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended for Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors, Heads of health institutions and senior high schools drawn from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The training was to broaden the understanding of participants on the provisions of the Procurement Act as amended to enable them to effectively deliver on their mandate.
Mr Adjei said the creation of the two units was to help restore public confidence and credibility in the sole source and restricted tender approval processes as well as provide technical advice on government contracts to obtain value for money.
He said the Kumasi and Takoradi Zonal Offices of PPA would be strengthened to carry out audits within their jurisdictions with the view of detecting fraud and corrupt practices as well as other cases of infractions of the Procurement Act for sanctions.
He warned that persons who contravened the Procurement Act risked a five-year jail term.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, called on technocrats at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to offer the needed advice and lead the processes rather than collude with service providers to dissipate national resources.
Professor Gabriel Teye, Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies, called on procurement officers to ensure judicious spending of national resources to ensure value for money.