PPA blows whistle on rise in document forgery for public contracts

PPA blows whistle on rise in document forgery for public contracts
  • begins blacklisting offending service providers

There are rising incidents of using fraudulent documents by service providers in their quest to win public contracts, Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Frank Mante has revealed.

Mr. Mante, speaking to the B&FT at the 10th PPA Forum in Accra, said fraudulent documents such as forging signatures of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials and submission of fake certificates – Tax and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) – are on the rise among some prospective public contract seekers.

The authority has disclosed that it will blacklist and suspend fraudulent companies in the coming months, in line with section 22A of the PPA Act, if the phenomenon persists.

The PPA said over 20 investigations have been completed to assist in the ratification requests received by the authority from procurement entities, as investigations are currently ongoing for six other entities that are yet to supply the required information. The authority, as part of its due diligence, is periodically instructed by the board to investigate and submit reports to assist in contract decisions.

It explained that it is the responsibility of public entities and other actors in the public procurement space to ensure that submission of the required statutory documents for contracts as expressed under Section 22 (1) d of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) is adhered to.

The section, according to Mr. Mante, among other things makes it mandatory for service providers to fulfll their tax obligations and SSNIT contributions – further tasking public entities to scrutinise documents to check for authenticity as part of the tender evaluation process.

Indeed, according to the PPA, a company was recently blacklisted from participating in any government project in Ghana for submitting a fake Supplier Certificate in a tender by the Department of Feeder Roads. “This is a fraudulent act and infringes provisions of the PPA Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended. Entities which do business with this company does so at their own risk,” Mr. Mante said.

He asked all entities applying for single source and restricted tendering approvals from the PPA to confirm in their application letters that the service provider they propose to engage has complied with all the statutory obligations stated as required by the laws of Ghana.

“Violations in relation to this are punishable by sanctions in section 92 (1) of the PPA Act, 2003 (Act 663) on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 2,000 penalty units, or a term imprisonment not exceeding five years or both,” Mr. Mante indicated.

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