The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has launched an electronic procurement system estimated to save the country $100million annually through the prevention of corruption and inefficiencies in public procurement.
The $5million Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GNEPS), the first of its kind in West Africa, is part of an e-transform Ghana project being executed with a $97 million World Bank credit provided in 2014.
For the first phase, six high spending public institutions which have been hooked onto the system, accessible via www.ghaneps.gov.gh, would anchor the processing of works, goods and services procurement.
They are Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Koforidua Technical University (KTU), Volta River Authority (VRA), Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) and Department of Feeder Roads.
At the launch in Accra yesterday, Dr Bawumia said all 34 ministries, public universities, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and selected state intuitions would be signed up by June this year
By the end of next year, he envisaged that public institutions would be enrolled to minimise the human interference in public procurement system and rid it of corruption.
Aside eliminating corruption, he said the system would increase access to tender information, reduce the turnaround time and use of paper and further the government's quest to enhance service delivery and promote transparency.
The digitisation of services at the ports, Passport Office, Lands Commission, Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and other public institutions, Dr Bawumia said were evident of the government's commitment to formalise the economy.
He urged all public institutions to collaborate with the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), to effectively run the system.
The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the system would create a searchable procurement database and help reduce public expenditure by at least 20 per cent as well as transaction cost and prices of goods, works and services due to competitiveness.
To ensure suitable environment for electronic transactions and projects and improve ICT across the country, she said the ministry was working on improving ICT infrastructure.
"The perceived corruption in Ghana's procurement system is endemic. I am optimistic the electronic platform will substantially remove corruption from Ghana's procurement system," she said.
The World Bank Country Director, Mr Henry Kerali explained that the estimated amount that the system would help the country save was $100 million, which represented two per cent of the country's GDP.
This, he said would be possible as the system would ensure cost reduction, process efficiencies, spending controls and compliance and enhance productivity.
In line with President Akufo-Addo's "Ghana Beyond Aid Vision", he said the World Bank would continue to provide technical and financial support to Ghana with other e-government systems to transform the economy and improve ease of doing business.
Chief Executive Officer of PPA, Mr Agyenim B. Adjei, recalled that his outfit and the e-transform project team revived the e-procurement project in May 2017 and had since remained committed to ensure the system lived up to expectation.
He said 170 service providers had been registered and trained and urged others to do likewise.