AN ASSESSMENT OF THE LEVEL OF POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
This chapter gives a general view of the whole thesis and for that matter provides the background to the study, a statement of the problem, objectives, scope and significance of the study as well as the provides the research questions and the organisation of the study.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
This study is embarked on the topic, “an assessment of the level of political interference in the implementation of public procurement in public institutions: the case of New Juaben North and South Municipal Assemblies.” Public purchases across the globe are imperative component in service delivery and functioning of various departments of government institutions. It is therefore of essence for governments to ensure that goods, works and services are provided efficiently to the public (Peterson and Flanagan, 2009).
Public procurement procedures are critical for this to be achieved. All goods and services for public use should be guided by the Public procurement requirement (Roodhooft and Abbeele, 2006). The public sector comprises of government departments and public institutions or the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). These entities supply goods, works and services to the public and are supplied through public procurement (Peterson and Flanagan, 2009).
The Public Procurement Law, 2003 (Act 663) which has been amended in 2016 as Act 914 is a comprehensive legislation designed to eliminate the shortcomings and organizational weaknesses which were inherent in public procurement in Ghana. The government of Ghana, in consultation with its development partners had identified the public procurement system as an area that required urgent attention in view of the widespread perception of corrupt practices and inefficiencies so as to build trust in the procurement system. The World Bank reported that about 50-70% of Ghana’s national budget (after personal emoluments) was procurement related which therefore called for efficient public procurement system to achieve value for money in government expenditures.
Thus, to maintain sanity and attain value for money in public procurement, the government of Ghana in 1996 launched the Public Financial Management Reform Programme (PUFMARP) with the purpose of improving financial management in Ghana. PUFMARP eventually identified some weaknesses in the procurement system which included: lack of a comprehensive public procurement policy, lack of a central body with technical expertise, absence of clearly defined roles and responsibilities for procurement entities, absence of comprehensive legal regime to safeguard public procurement, lack of rules and regulations to guide, direct, train and monitor public procurement. The programme also identified that there was no independent appeals process to address complaints from tenderers. Consequently, the shortfalls identified led to the establishment of the Public Procurement Oversight Group in 1999, assigned to steer the design of a comprehensive public procurement reform programme which later led to the drafting of a public procurement bill in September 2002 and was eventually passed into law on 31 December 2003 and it became the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663).
Public procurement is basically the process whereby public sector establishments, ministries, departments and local authorities acquire goods, works and services. The important function of public procurement has compelled most countries across the world, Ghana included, to promulgate laws and regulatory frameworks to streamline their public procurement activities.
However, many researches have proven that implementation of the public procurement laws and policies in many countries like Ghana have been bedevilled with some numerous challenges or hindrances. For instance, The National Public Procurement Authority of Sierra Leone in its 2005 report outlined several challenges bedevilling the operations of the Authority. Some of them included: inadequate funding, deficient staff strength and organisational and logistical limitations. The report recommended among other things, that the law could achieve its objective if there was a concerted effort by all stakeholders, backed by very firm political will and adequate budgetary support, to streamline and improve public procurement procedures in Sierra Leone.
A number of authors have investigated the factors that militate against public procurement implementation around the globe (Thai, 2004; Wittig & Jeng, 2004; etc.). However, these previous studies have not reported on obstacles to the public procurement implementation in Ghana.
By the year 2016, Ghanaian politicians showcased a strong political will in ensuring that lapses realised in the implementation of the PPA 663 were corrected and eventually, that year, Parliament passed the PP Amendment bill and it became the Amendment Act 914. Almost three years after the Act 914 came into existence, it is important to find out if there exist corruption among other weaknesses in procurement performance in the country. There is therefore the need to undertake a rigorous analysis of one of the key factors that has hindered the law in Ghana from achieving the purpose for which it was enacted.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The public procurement system in Ghana is to ensure that in a harmonized procedure, all goods and services purchased by public institutions are done in a way that ensures a careful, economic and efficient use of public resources. It is also to ensure that transactions are devoid of corruption, but are done in fairly, plainly and in an impartial way, whereas encouraging competition among local industries.
There are important economic and political implications related to Public procurement hence, the need to make sure that the process is efficient and economical. Political interference with the procurement process poses a challenge to the implementation process and public procurement reforms. A good number of politicians think that they have the right to intervene in the procurement procedures thereby leading to capricious procurement decisions (World Bank, 2012).
All key players in the public procurement process are required to understand the tenets of the procurement processes to ensure that it works efficiently. In a lot of government organizations howbeit, the public procurement process is sheltered with concealment, incompetence and bribery (Nyakundi et al., 2012). Previous studies have only concentrated on factors affecting procurement performance in public sector in Ghana but did not focus on political interference as a challenge.
This has inspired the researchers to carry out this study and also to fill the vacuum created and add to literature to the body of knowledge. This work seeks to investigate political interference as a factor that affects performance of the public procurement process in Ghana’s public sector.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this research is to assess the level of political interference in the implementation of public procurement in public institutions in Ghana. In other words, it seeks to assess the extent to which politicians have interfered with public procurement processes in Ghana.
1.3.1 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1. To assess the level of political interference in the implementation of Public Procurement process.
2. To identify other factors affecting public procurement implementation in public institutions.
3. To suggest some possible remedies to preventing political interference in public procurement implementation in public institutions.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Is there political interference in the implementation of the public procurement process in the public institutions?
2. Are there other factors affecting procurement implementation in public institutions?
3. What solutions are there to curb political interference in the implementation of the public procurement process?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research used the New Juaben South and New Juaben North Municipal Assemblies as case studies for this study. The two municipal assemblies were chosen because they have the autonomy to procure goods, works and services. Most studies on public procurement law implementation have been conducted largely on factors affecting its implementation without focus on political interference. This research was conducted with focus on political interference by politicians in the implementation of the public procurement Act and it elicited responses from public procurement practitioners and other line mangers/administrators working in the two Municipal Assemblies.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study contributes to procurement activities and strengthens the act of obtaining goods, works and services in the public institutions in Ghana and also promotes transparency and accountability which are important components in the procurement practices. The study again contributes to the body of knowledge and offers some suggested remedies to reduce or eliminate political interference in public procurement implementation process in public institutions in Ghana.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
There are five chapters in this thesis.The first chapter introduces the study. It defines the problem statement, outlines the research objectives andthe research questions as well as the significance of the study. The second chapter discusses the applicable literature on political interference in procurement in Ghana’s public sector, Africa and the world as a whole. Chapter three looks at the study design and methods used togather the data.This third chapter includes a description of the study area, study participants, data collection guides and data analysis methodology. The fourth chapter dwells on the study results and discussions. Chapter five concludes the research by summarising the findings and offering recommendations for further studies.
How do i choose a Project Topic?
Look for your department and select any topic of your choice
I have a fresh topic that is not on your website. How do I go about it?
How fast can i get a complete project from your website?
Within 15 minutes if the exact project topic is on our website
Is it a complete research project or just materials?
It is a Complete Research Project i.e Chapters 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Full References, Questionnaires / Secondary Data
One of your topics suites my project, but the case study is different. What do i do?
Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately
How do i get my complete project?
Your Complete Project Material will be sent to your Email Address in Ms Word document format
Can I get my Complete Project through WhatsApp?
Yes! We can send your Complete Research Project to your WhatsApp Number
What if my Project Supervisor made some changes to a topic i picked from your website?
Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately
Do you assist students with Assignment and Project Proposal?
Yes! Call Our Instant Help Desk Now: +234 814 010 7220 and you will be responded to immediately
What if i do not have any project topic idea at all?
Smiles! We've Got You Covered. Chat with us on WhatsApp Now to Get Instant Help: +234 814 010 7220
How can i trust this site?
We are well aware of fraudulent activities that have been happening on the internet. It is regrettable, but hopefully declining. However, we wish to reinstate to our esteemed clients that we are genuine and duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as "PRIMEDGE TECHNOLOGY". This site runs on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), therefore all transactions on this site are HIGHLY secure and safe!