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Make competitive procurement the norm – EduWatch appeals to MOE

Africa Education Watch (EduWatch)

African Education Watch (EduWatch) has appealed to the Ministry of Education, to prioritise spending efficiency and make competitive procurement the norm for all major procurement activities at the Ministry and its agencies.

This was in a document copied to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Mr Kofi Asare, EduWatch Executive Director.

The document said it had since 2020 been monitoring the use of COVID-19 and related funds as part of the government’s COVID-19 response in the Education Sector under the US$ 218 million Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcome Project (GALOP).

It added that in November 2021, Ghana Education Sector COVID-19, Resilience Report, it published which raised serious issues relating to spending efficiency in the deployment of digital infrastructure by the Ministry of Education.

It said the report observed duplications, lack of coordination, lack of awareness, and low usage of virtual learning and training platforms costing over GHC20 million cedis under the auspices of the Ghana Library Authority and the Ministry of Education.

It said in July 2021, the Ministry of Education signed a contract worth GHC5.7 million with TANIT LTD, an IT Service Provider, to design, develop and deploy digital teacher training content and platform under the GALOP Project by November 2021.

“Per our information, TANIT LTD was contracted through a single source procurement activity which is regrettably a norm at the Ministry of Education, while the firm was virtually unknown among leading IT Solutions companies in Ghana, one wonders about the justification for its single-source procurement by the Ministry of Education,” it said.

The document said failure of TANIT LTD to deliver was enough indication that the company lacked the capacity to deploy within the five months contracted period which a competitive procurement approach would have provided better options.

“According to the Ministry of Education, TANIT LTD failed to deliver according to schedule, leading to the expiration of the contract, compelling the Ministry of Education to train the 40,000 teachers (about twice the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) on another existing platform available to the Ministry of Education without any additional cost.

“We are aware that the Ministry has since written to TANIT LTD for a refund of the initial payment of GHC859,000 for which TANIT LTD was rather insisting on the payment of the remaining GHC4.9 million based on its claim that the contract was completed regardless of the delay,” it added.

“We support the efforts of the Ministry of Education to recover all payments made to TANIT LTD in view of their non-performance, and further urge the Ministry to sue for a refund of the said GHC859,000 paid to TANIT LTD and other consequential losses incurred because of the failure of TANIT LTD to deliver on their contractual obligations.

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