On 29th October, 2020, an article was published calling for transparency in Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA’s) procurement processes, specifically the award of a Digital Tax Solutions contract to De La Rue, a Kenyan company affiliated with a listed UK group with a sketchy past. Supposedly, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) was investigating claims of foul play by other parties that had put in a bid for the contract. From all indications, GRA flouted several rules.
They failed to respond to applicants about the outcome of their proposal, were less than forthcoming about the criteria used in selecting De La Rue as the recipient of the award, failed to have a tender opening as indicated on their tender sheet and also failed to provide substantive reasons to other applicants about why they lost the bid.
Also odd was GRA’s failure to issue a notification of the intention to award the contract. The other parties only found out because De La Rue issued a statement to announce its win.
The year is almost at an end and there is still no official response from PPA regarding De La Rue’s 5-year contact with GRA to provide digital tax solution. The contract seems to be on hold but is it really?
After De La Rue’s press release on 9TH September, 2020 indicating the award of the contract, there has been no further updates, which is unusual. Could it be that the PPA is doing its due diligence investigating claims of malpractice and lack of transparency?
If that is the case, we applaud the PPA. There is a need to drain the swamp in Ghana if we want to attract solid business and investors and also maintain a good reputation in the business community. Ghana beyond aid cannot be attained if malfeasance goes unchecked.
The Ghanaian of today is more sophisticated and more aware of current events. This was made evident in the recent elections. Ghanaians want a democratic nation that upholds integrity and justice. The hope is that the PPA will uphold its core values of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination in public procurement in Ghana.
Things must change for the better in Ghana. This is PPA’s chance to lead the way and set itself apart as an institution of high standards.