PPP Complaints Panel urged to ensure corruption-free bidding process

first-ever Complaints Panel
first-ever Complaints Panel

Mr John Kumah, a Deputy Minister of Finance, has charged the first-ever Complaints Panel for the implementation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2020 (Act 1039) to ensure a corruption free bidding process.

Speaking at the inauguration of the seven-member panel in Accra on Thursday, Mr Kumah urged them to ensure that “complaints of injustice, unfair treatment, corruption, and abuse of office in relation to the bidding process are thoroughly addressed.”

He said by so doing, there would be increased private sector participation and investment in the provision of public infrastructure and services through partnership with the public sector to relieve the government off the fiscal pressures.

Mr Kumah explained that the PPP provided a long-term gain in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in addition to lower cost to the public sector and higher benefits compared to the traditional procurement process.

He noted that compliance, value for money, competitiveness, fairness and transparency, risk allocation, accountability, affordability and sustainability, stakeholder consultation and application were at the centre of PPP processes.

The Deputy Minister said but because the procurement processes under PPP were complicated, value for money was not always achieved as some people tended to circumvent the laid down procedures.

“PPPs have weaknesses such as the level of complexity with PPP arrangements and the requirement for long term equity financing among others. These features might occasionally make them subject to malpractice and corruption,” he said.

“It is for this reason that this Committee of diverse expertise is being constituted to ensure that impartial investigation is provided on behalf of the complainants who feel aggrieved by the action or inaction of a contracting authority or private bidders in all arrangements that you will be recommending to the Public Private Partnership Committee based on the assessments of all complaints,” Mr Kumah stated.

He said it was important for the Complaint Panel to make sure that the guiding principles for PPPs were “adhered to in order to promote private sector participation and investment in the delivery of public infrastructure and services, as well as ensuring the confidence of the varied stakeholder in PPPs.”

For her part, Justice Avril Lovelace Johnson, Chairperson of the Panel, said the bedrock of their work would be “compliance, fairness, and transparency, accountability, application of processes,” which she said were needed to ensure justice.

“Due to the fact that the process will be undertaken by human beings, there is bound to be some conflicts and disagreement. When such happens, the panel will do the best within its power to resolve such issues expeditiously and within the 60 days laid down section 5.3 (a) of the terms of reference,” she assured.

The other members are: Nana Ama Boama Botchway, Mr Emmanuel Kojo Gyimah, Mr Patirck Mireku, Mrs Stella Addo, Mrs Stella Otema Badu, all members, with Mr David Agbale, as the Panel’s Secretary.

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