Public Agenda (Accra), April 8, 2011

by Steve Manteaw

Natural resource contracting though essentially a procurement activity is not subject to the national procurement law.

The situation, according to participants at a recently held roundtable meeting on contract transparency in the natural resource sector, is a serious gap in the law which exposes the multi-million dollar contracting of investments in mining and petroleum activities to rent-seeking and other corrupt practices.

The participants are therefore urging an amendment to the law, to bring under its jurisdiction all natural resource contracts.

The revelation was part of the submission of the representative of the National Procurement Authority at the roundtable, in response to a statement by Ms. Ama Jantuah of the Attorney General’s Department, to the effect that, the perception that contract secrecy is inimical to the interest of the people will not be wholly cured by the mere publication of these contracts.

What to her, is of primary importance in ensuring that the state doesn’t get shortchanged in the contracting process is to focus attention on the events that precede the contracting phase of the enterprise. “The decisions as to who gets what acreage are where corruption happens, and this happens even before contracts are negotiated,” she intimated. Read more…