GIPS demands a national procurement strategy to direct spending of IMF cash

Procurement and sourcing for projects and programmes that will be executed with the US$3bn IMF facility should not be business as usual,

Procurement and sourcing for projects and programmes that will be executed with the US$3bn IMF facility should not be business as usual, but must rather be supervised by a national procurement strategy that ensures cohesion and consolidation in government spending, the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS) has advised.

The strategy, according to president of the institute Simon Annan, will guide judicious and impactful use of the bailout money – given that much of it will be going into spending.

“The policy should have detailed initiatives on how public procurement can be leveraged to develop the nation with targetted actions that will develop the private sector; such as local buying, industrial empowerment and overall private sector development,” he said in an interview.

He added: “With this strategy, there is going to be cohesion and synergy as well as collaboration among procurement actors. It will also bring about the consolidation of government spending across the public sector”.

The GIPS boss further opined that procurement and supply chain management should be given its central role for the local economy to reap desired gains from the bailout programme.

“The supply chain has to be involved so that we can look at the end-to-end process – how monies are released and projects are executed through proper procurement procedures,” he iterated.

In the absence of such a strategy, Mr. Annan argued, procurements under the IMF programme will still be done in silos – whereby specific ministries and state agencies can do their procurement and sourcing without regard to needs of the citizenry, thereby creating excessive, wasteful expenditure.

Currently, there are instances where state entities are paying for the same or similar items – such as stationery and other common user items – at varying prices; with some price disparities reaching over 50 percent from one institution another.

To the GIPS president, a policy directing or setting the price threshold for every common user item would curtail such anomalies in the public procurement sector.

Specifically, Mr. Annan recommended that there should be procurement directives regarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which constitute the private sector, such as development of the micro business space.

“Local sourcing will be critical in this regard; we can use this programme to build the local industry by enhancing the capacity of small and medium businesses. These policy actions will ensure that the economy gets the needed benefit from the IMF programme,” the GIPS boss noted.

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