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Involve local stakeholders in government projects [GACC in the News]

Residents of Dwease and its environs in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality have called on government to involve stakeholders at the local level when awarding contracts funded at the national level to promote transparency and accountability.

They said even the Assemblies mandated to spearhead their development had no access to contract details of such projects and called for a paradigm shift from the current arrangement. They expressed displeasure at a community engagement on findings of a monitoring exercise on selected projects in the Municipality under a project being implemented by the Ghana Anti- Corruption Coalition in collaboration with ABAK Foundation, a local Civil Society Organisation (CSO). The project dubbed, “From Disclosure to Impact: Deepening and Broadening Open Contracting in Africa' is being implemented in five African countries through the Africa Freedom of Information Centre with funding from the Hewlett Foundation. It seeks to improve delivery of health and education services through the promotion of disclosure, public participation, efficiency, value for money, and competition in public contracting in Ghana. As part of the project, Local Accountability Networks (LANets) have been established with the aim of monitoring the execution of selected projects to ensure transparency and value for money.

 

The community engagement was, therefore, to share the findings and recommendations on 10 projects monitored between October to December 2021 and also discuss the way forward as a people.Mr. Philip Duah, Executive Director  of ABAK Foundation who led the discussion, said there was limited disclosure of information on the projects monitored and the monitoring team was  to access 11 out of 20 projects per the information provided by the Municipal Assembly.

 

The Assembly, he disclosed, had no data on nine projects funded directly by the central government and stressed the need for the assembly to retrieve contract documents of those projects. He said there was no information on all 10 projects monitored during the second phase of the exercise on the website of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) as required by law.

 

Mr. David Owusu Ansah, the Municipal Coordinating Director expressed worry about lack of information on central government funded projects which, he said, had denied the Assembly its oversight responsibility. On the lack of information on the website of the PPA, he explained that they had submitted the documents of some of the projects to the PPA and promised to follow up to establish why they

were not published. Madam Faustina Djabatey, Communication Officer of GACC said transparency in public sector procurement was critical ensuring value for money in the execution of projects and service delivery and the involvement of citizens in project execution could reduce corruption and promote transparency.

She called for the involvement of assemblies to empower them to monitor the projects to guard against shoddy work.

 

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