Graphic Business News

GH¢2.75bn saved from contract reviews – Finance Minister

By: Kester Aburam Korankye
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THE government has in the past 31 months made savings of GH¢2.75 billion by reviewing contracts signed by the previous government, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed.
He said the amount was retrieved by the Public Procurement Authority after reviewing various contracts that were either sole-sourced or procured through restrictive tender under the previous government.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who made the disclosure while presenting the 2019 mid-year budget review to Parliament yesterday, said GH¢800 million of the amount was  saved in 2017, GH¢1.1 billion in 2018, and GH¢1.085 billion in 2019.
The presentation of the mid-year budget review was in accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).

Significance
Mr Ofori-Atta described the savings as a great feat chalked up by the government as it represented a better performance of how the taxpayers’ money had been managed by the current government compared to what pertained under the previous government.
“Permit me to compare these savings made by the Public Procurement Authority under this administration to what happened under the previous one, even though more contracts were awarded through sole sourcing and restrictive tender annually than any year under this government.
“In 2013 savings registered was zero. In 2014, again, savings made amounted to zero. In 2015, savings made totalled zero. In 2016, again the PPA made zero in savings,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

Measures
Shedding light on the measures adopted by the government which resulted in the savings, Mr Ofori Atta explained that the government was strictly implementing effective policies that encourage transparency in public procurements. 
He said the government had over the 31 months period of being in office, maintained discipline in expending the nation’s limited resources.
 “We were able to entrench fiscal discipline through the strategic allocation of resources, efficiency in the use of public funds, as well as enhancing transparency and accountability in our management of the public purse.
“Candidate Akufo-Addo promised to protect the public purse and that is exactly what we have been doing at the treasury,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
As a result of the prudent management of the economy and state resources, Mr Ofori-Atta said all the key indicators for building a stronger economy had been cured effectively and were stronger currently than they were before January 7 2017.
“Inflation has dropped to single digit and dropping; Interest rates continue to drop; external payments position has strengthened; exchange rates have been more stable; the fiscal deficit has reduced to below 5 per cent; real GDP growth has rebounded and remains robust; debt to GDP ratio is below 60 per cent and the banking sector has been rescued, and recapitalised,” he noted.

Banking sector rescued
Through the prudent management of the economy, Mr Ofori-Atta told the legislators that confidence had been restored to the banking sector which has been under myriad of challenges since the Bank of Ghana (BoG) started its clean up of the sector.
“We have restored confidence into the banking system, securing the otherwise distressed deposits of some 2,655,100 customers, as well as saving over 3,000 jobs,” he said.
This, he said, had contributed to the expansion of the banking sector in terms of assets.
“Today, total banks’ assets have shot up to GH¢112.8 billion. Growth of credit to the private sector is rebounding assuredly by 16.8 per cent in June 2019,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.