Procurement Minister moves to harmonise laws

Adwoa Safo

The Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has notified the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General to as a matter of urgency, codify the two laws governing public procurement in the country into one to make it easy and simple for use.

According to her, the two laws, Public Procurement Act (Act 663) and Public Procurement (Amendment) Act (Act 914) make it cumbersome for easy reading and referencing since players in the public procurement chain would have to use the two documents at all times in order not to find themselves at the wrong side of the law.

She explained that out of the 99 Sections in the Public Procurement Act (Act 663), 55 Sections have been amended.

Consequently, the two existing laws must be used at all times for one to be on the safer side.

Adwoa Safo said this puts much burden on the individual who would have to spend more time in making references to the two documents.

Therefore, to make things easier, the Deputy Majority Leader of the Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, said she has brought the development to the attention of the Minister for Justice & Attorney-General to help combine the two laws into one and make it easy for referencing.

The Public Procurement Act, 2003, Act 663 was passed in 2003 and came into operation in 2004 as part of the government's public financial reforms had to be amended to propel public procurement into a second generation of reform and to streamline bottlenecks identified over a decade of its implementation.

The Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill was on Friday, March 18, 2016 passed by Parliament into an Act (Act 914), thus, amended the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

The amendments re-categorised government institutions into include organizations not initially covered.

Thresholds have been increased across board and Procurement Entities re-constituted to ensure efficient administration of the increased thresholds.

She paid a working visit to the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited and interacted with some top management officials about the need to re-align their operations to fit into the government's policy.

Her visit forms part of her scheduled activities to public or state-owned institutions or companies that are heavily involved in procurement activities.