The Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, has told the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey, to direct all his questions relating to the procurement of 1,800 used vehicles by the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) to the Ministry of Finance for answers.
Norgbey had sought to find out from the Public Procurement Minister who is also the deputy Majority Leader, Parliament of Ghana, what procurement method was used by MASLOC in awarding the contract worth GH¢28.8 million to Dextro Impex to supply 1,800 used vehicles.
The NDC MP for Ashaiman had prior to filing the question gone public and vowed to haul the Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement before Parliament to answer questions on the purchase of some used vehicles by MASLOC.
Norgbey told the public on several radio stations across the country that he suspects some corrupt practices in the purchase of the 1,800 used vehicles by MASLOC, hence, his move to haul the Public Procurement Minister before Parliament for questioning.
“I chanced on some letters that give me suspicion that the Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Stephen Amoah, engaged in some corrupt practices through single source procurement of some 1,800 vehicles of 2011 models to be procured for Ghanaians. That is worth about GH¢28.8 million. So, I am just inviting the in charge of Public Procurement to come and tell us, the method of procurement that Stephen Amoah used”, Norgbey was quoted as saying by Accra-based local radio station, Starr FM.
But Hon. Adwoa Safo responding to the questiom, Wednesday, exposed the weakness of the Ashaiman MP with regard to his understanding of which agency is responsible for approving procurement methods used in procuring some items for public institutions and the particular ministry which has oversight responsibility over the agency.
” Mr. Speaker, per the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and (Act 914) as amended – the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) is the regulatory body charged with the mandate of granting procurement approvals and ensuring compliance with all relevant procurement rules and processes. The PPA as agency legally placed under the Ministry of Finance. Per the definition prescribed in the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and (Act 914) as amended a Minister is defined as; “Minister” means the Minister responsible for Finance. Hence, in accordance with the Standing Orders of Parliament all questions ought to be directed to the Ministry of Finance”, she noted.
She added “The Office of the Minister responsible for Public Procurement exists to advise H.E. the President on procurement policies and strategies. Accordingly, the office does not have locus in this August House in respect of the subject matter to answer such questions”.