The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in partnership with the Africa Freedom for Information Centre (AFIC) and Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) has organized a multi-stakeholder training on public procurement legislation, open contracting and the use of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).
The two-day training which spans from 1st to 2nd August, 2019, at the Sunloge Hotel in Accra, funded by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is aimed at increasing government’s commitment to the open contracting principles it signed unto under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).
In an exclusive interview with the Ag. Communications Officer of GACC, Ms.
Faustina Djabatey, she explained that, the workshop was aimed at equipping the participants with skills and the needed knowledge that aligns with the OCDS and its application at all procurement stages.
According to her, since the project seeks an open government machinery that discloses information on contracting and public procurement, it was apt to train participants on Ghana’s Public Procurement Act and its application in public contracting and service delivery.
She also said it was important to train participants on proactive disclosure framework, including the Government Procurement Portal and other platforms, and as well as on the open contracting and Open Contracting Data Standards.
This according to Ms. Djabatey, will enable citizens to identify and share good practices and challenges in disclosing and accessing public procurement information and impact on public service delivery outcomes.
Also speaking at the training was the Executive Secretary of GACC, Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, who said, the world bank had a study which suggested that, about 70% of government’s budget goes into public procurement, which means that majority of the public funds are pushed into procurement. Therefore, there was the need to monitor the process.
This is why the GACC collaborated with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), to deepen participants understanding on how public procurement processes could be made more open to the public.
She however noted that, PPA has committed to Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), to ensure that citizens have access and also understand data. Adding that, “If a chunk of the public funds goes into procurement, then we need to block all leakages in order to protect that chunk of money.
Mrs. Rhoda Ewurabena Appiah, Chief Manager for Corporate and Facilities Managementat the PPA, said, as an Authority, their job is to provide the necessary regulatory structures in terms of guidelines, instructions and rules on how institutions could embark on procurement processes successfully.
“But more importantly, to see how the general public engage the procurement processes as it were with information, and it’s the area of convergence that we think we have with the scope of this workshop, where we will be able to know together what kind of data sets that are required in procurement and how they can be properly packaged in the OCDS standard. So that everybody who has it can be able to interrogate it and make proper use of it,” She emphasized.
On his part, Dr. Joseph Asunka, the Program Officer in Global Development and Population at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, said, what they stand for is to manage a portfolio of grants that support efforts to increase transparency and accountability in fiscal governance and foster citizen participation to improve social services in developing countries.