Dr Gideon Boako, a Technical Economic Advisor at the Office of the Vice President, has said if Ghana wants to fight corruption, it must take electronic procurement seriously.
He said manual procurement involved a lot of human contacts, therefore there was a high possibility of corruption taking place.
Against this backdrop, he said, the New Patriotic Party government had identified manual procurement as a platform to breed corruption, hence it was determined to eliminate paper-based procurement to electronic one.
This would reduce the time frame in the procurement processes and save the public purse as well as improving transparency in the governance system, he said
“Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government is keenly interested in the procurement processes and will like to save money for the nation and improve transparency,” he noted.
Dr Amoako said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the sidelines of the launching of the electronic government procurement project (e-Ghana project) in Accra.
“If you go to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, they will tell you they have opened procurement process, but it will take three or more months to go through the entire process… and because there is a lot of paper work passing through their tables, the issue of tipping someone cannot be ignored”.
“So what the e-procurement project seeks to do is to ensure that suppliers log onto the system and they will know the tender that has been opened and upload their documents onto the system without necessarily moving to Accra to get a contract,” he explained.
According to him, the project would ease the pressures and troubles agents and businesses went through in securing public contracts, and also ensuring competitive bidding.
The e-Ghana project was funded by the World Bank at the estimated cost of US$97 million dollars aimed at eliminating human elements in the procurement processes as well as reducing corruption, collusion and fraudulent practices.
The Public Procurement Authority is implementing the e-procurement component of the project at an estimated cost of six million dollars.
The Ministry of Communications is hosting and facilitating the entire e-Ghana project otherwise known as the e-transform project intended to enhance transparency and improve public service delivery.
Some Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be hooked onto the electronic platform to improve efficiency.
So far, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Office, the Judiciary Service and the Parliament of Ghana had been earmarked to benefit from the e-procurement system.
The European Dynamics, an information technology firm based in Greece had been awarded the contract to provide application services.
Mr Angelo Hatzikyriacos, the Project Manager of European Dynamics, in his presentation, said the objective of the project was to provide e-procurement solution and ensure easy access to procurement information and transactions.
Currently, he said, the project was at the Transition phase, which would take two months to complete before moving to the Testing and Acceptance phase where the system would be in operations for customisation, establishing support structures and integration before piloting it in six public institutions.