Ghana has become the first country in the West Africa sub-region to establish an electronic procurement system for the public sector.
This development is expected to save the government up to US$100 million annually.
This is because some experts have argued that procurement breaches make up about 90% of corruption cases in the country.
The government has therefore launched a digital platform for the tendering processes for service providers who wish to do business with public institutions.
This will ensure transparency and also make service delivery better in the public sector.
The migration of the procurement processes onto an electronic system forms part of the Communications Ministry’s e-transform project which is funded through the World Bank’s US$97million credit.
At the launch of the platform, the Vice President said the initiative will help reduce corruption in the public sector.
“At the heart of government’s drive to digitize our economy is the need to facilitate the delivery of government services, formalize the economy, de-risk the business environment, and above all deal with matters of corruption.”
So far, six heavy spending public institutions including COCOBOD, the Volta River Authority, and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly have already been migrated onto the e-procurement platform.
The system ensures that service providers log on to the platform for tendering, awarding of contracts, evaluation of contracts and file complaints using the internet.
There are currently 11,000 service providers captured by the Public Procurement Authority.
Government is hoping to use the platform to beat down prices of products purchased by public institutions by at least 20 percent through competitive bidding.
“You don’t have to know somebody before you are informed about an upcoming bid. It’s all advertised on the system and once you are a registered supplier in any category, once the contract is advertised, it automatically sends a notification to you, so you are aware of all upcoming bids, ” Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful told Accra-based Citi FM.
The Electronic Procurement System which is the first of its kind in West Africa cost $5 million.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has said that the migration of the procurement processes unto an electronic platform will save the country an amount equivalent to 2 percent of Ghana’s GDP.