Board chairman of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Prof. Douglas Boateng, has asked procurement professionals to come out boldly to name and shame institutions and individuals that try to buy their way through with bribes in the process of procuring goods and services.
Addressing a gathering of procurement professionals at a symposium organised by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Ghana (CIP-Ghana) in Accra, he emphasised that the fight against corruption in the procurement space will require mechanisms which flush out both the giver and the taker.
“It takes two to tango; when it comes to the issue of corruption in the procurement space, we need to flush out the giver as well.
“Procurement officers should be bold enough to name and shame firms and individuals that try to buy their way out with bribes in the procurement of goods and services,” he noted.
According to the PPA board chairman, there are instances when an ethical procurement officer is influenced by certain individuals or firms in the procurement process – but when it goes wrong, it is only the procurement professional who is tagged as being corrupt.
He added: “Procurement officials tend to keep quiet about some of these things, but that in itself is unethical.
“That’s how we can curb the canker of corruption in the procurement space; we can’t be doing the same thing and expect different results.”
A procurement consultant and Rector of Dale Professional Institute, Alexander Akrofi, in his presentation on the need for licensing the profession, urged procurement officers to strictly adhere to codes and ethics of the discipline.
He said the profession has moved beyond just sourcing services and reducing cost, and there is a need for practitioners to apply themselves to the codes and ethics of the discipline in a way that will help the growth of an organisation.
“The code and ethics of the profession should be the bedrock of our activities; we need to look at the supply chain and identify/manage the risks to ensuregoods and services are effectively delivered.
“If we don’t want people to be seen as conduits for corruption, we need to raise the bar; only licenced persons should be allowed to practice or handle procurement functions in an organization, regarding how money should be spent,” he said.
The one-day symposium, on the theme ‘Governance and accountability in the procurement profession’, brought together policymakers, civil society organisations and procurement professionals to deliberate on how to effectively and collectively advance gains of the profession to national development.
Country Manager of CIPS-Ghana, Mrs. Stella Addo, said of the event: “Recent events make it imperative to make integrity a hallmark of the procurement profession. We control large budgets and have no choice but to behave ethically.
“This symposium has brought together stakeholders to brainstorm and deliberate on topical issues to advance the procurement space.”