Going about procurement in a more cost-effective, risk-free and sustainable manner could be the country’s window to more foreign direct investments, Sam Achampong, Regional Director in charge of Middle East and North Africa for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), has said.
“If people see that any funds that are passed through a particular country—in this case Ghana—are divested and spent in a credible, open and transparent way, then they will want to increase their investments and this has been shown everywhere around the world,” he said at an executive breakfast meeting organized by CIPS-Ghana in Accra.
He added: “The reputation of procurement in any economy is absolutely key to investment because people will not invest if they identified risk of misappropriations in any way as half of their capital injections will be divested by procurement professionals.
If the business landscape is not beyond reproach then they will be very unwilling to do that. Donor agencies will want to see their funds spent wisely and that’s the same with everybody else. They cannot risk giving funds that will be spent the wrong way.”
Mr. Achampong emphasized that the right procurement environment portrays an accurate and positive credentials of any economy to the outside world, hence the need for public procurement to be done in the right way and at the top-level of decision-making.
He indicated: “As a country, we have to start mandating procurement at the very high level; already there are clear signals that government is committed to doing procurement the right way, especially with the setting up of the Procurement Ministry.
From that top level, we have to start mandating professional procurement practices that filter all the way from the top down to the lowest level so make sure that there are no more perceptions of misappropriation of funds and how things are done.”
The procurement expert also noted that it was incumbent on government to ensure that persons with the requisite skills and expertise are tasked with procurement functions.
To this end, he recommended the licensing of procurement practitioners in the country as that will help sanitise the profession and ensure that people who spend public money have the right credentials to do so.
“It is absolutely crucial that persons who spend public funds have the relevant qualifications profile and mandate to do so. This is the foremost tool in the fight against corruption,” he said.
He added that: “People who are not licensed, have the potential of spending money unwisely at the very least and most unethically and that could have massive exponential effect on society aside increasing the cost of doing business.
It is essential that every procurement professional is licensed so they get the qualification and skills to work ethically on the fact that they risk losing their license if they don’t practice correctly.”
The CIPS-Ghana Executive Breakfast Meeting pooled together policymakers, seasoned procurement experts and practitioners in the country to discuss global trends in the procurement field and how the profession could be well positioned to give the needed push to national development.
Participants shared ideas on how procurement, especially at the public level, could be leveraged to protect the public purse, transform society and ensure value for money in the supply of goods and services.
Country Director of CIPS-Ghana, Stella Addo, in an interview, said: The idea behind this breakfast meeting was for us [procurement experts] to meet the crème of policymakers in the country to introduce them to CIPS and what others are doing globally in the field of procurement and how the profession is being situated across the globe.
Normally, policymakers don’t have a lot of time so we decided to host them today and introduce them to some global concepts of procurement and what we [CIPS-Ghana] can also do in Ghana to help what the government is already doing in the field of procurement.”