The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in collaboration with the Africa Freedom for Information Centre (AFIC), have expressed readiness to implement an ‘Open Contract Data Standards (OCDS) project, which will monitor and ensure government’s commitment to the open contracting principles that has been signed under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).
The OCDS project which set for implementation with a funding support from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will also ensures an open government machinery that will disclose information on contracting and public procurement principles.
This was announced at a workshop held in Accra by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), for Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDCs); representatives of Public Procurement Authority (PPA); Civil Society Organization (CSOs), Private Sector, including the media.
The GACC-AFIC engagement with stakeholders was to fasten the process and ensure a smooth implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) practices among government and private sector.
Other objectives of the training workshop were to identify and share good practices and challenges in OCDS for effective compliance, as well as empowering stakeholders to effectively implement OCDS principles.
Under the theme “Strengthening Disclosure and Citizen Participation to improve Value for Money on Public Contracting in Africa (Ghana)”, the OCDS, however, seeks to strengthen disclosure and citizens participation, to improve value for money in public contracting in Africa.
Programmes Officer of GACC, Mr. Kwesi Boateng Assumeni, indicated that, “the main aim of this project is to increase government’s commitment to the open contracting principles which has been signed under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).
“The meeting comes as a follow-up to a workshop carried out earlier this year on the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS)”.
He explained that GACC wants to engage stakeholders who have benefited from the workshop to ascertain application of the knowledge gained so in the OCDS workshop.
“This engagement will specifically provide a platform for public servants and Public Procurement Authority (PPA) representatives to share experiences, including practical challenges in obtaining OCDS information.
The engagement will also present an opportunity to learn and share advocacy strategies from CSOs, the private sector and media representatives towards increased implementation of OCDS”. Mr. Boateng Assumeni emphasized.
The workshop, according to him, was to identify advocacy strategies for the implementation of OCDS and to advocate for increased usage of the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) by procuring entities”.
Throwing more lights on the OCDS implementation, Mad. Esi Sey, an Independent Consultation and Development Practitioner, indicated during the workshop that the adoption of OCDS is a bigger advocacy issue, so that everyone can take a specific angle to it, table their strategies and deal with it the right way”.
She further explained that the workshop is committed to the agenda of expected training outcome of increased proactive disclosure of procurement related information by MMDAs, in accordance with OCDS practices.
It was also agreed at the meeting that elements of OCDS advocacy strategies should be in the following concerns as evidence gathering and research; public sensitization; alliance building (local level representatives and religious bodies); capacity building elements; and to also intensify advocacy regarding Right to Information on OCDS, and the appointment of key public officers in relation to OCDS.
The 2-day workshop brought together participants from public sector that consists of representatives from MMDCs and members of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA); participants from CSOs and private sector including the media.
Source: Delali Gavor/www.newslinegh.com