Engineer Thomas Anang-Siaw, a Procurement Specialist to the World Bank, has attributed the many disputes over project contracts in the country to a misunderstanding and misapplication of the terms in procurement contracts and associated laws.
Most of these disputes, he said have led to the award of huge judgement debts against the government, while delaying the implementation of many projects.
Speaking at the Gamey and Gamey ADR Institute’s 20th graduation ceremony in Accra on Saturday for its Professional Executive Master of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (PEM ADR) course, Mr Anang-Siaw described most the disputes over project contracts as avoidable.
Citing a number of cases, he said there is often inadequate of clarity and understanding of the project specifications, while variations also create disputes.
According to him, court litigation also compounds the disputes, as the delays and costs associated with litigation, adversely affects project implementation.
In that regard, Mr Anang-Siaw, a contracts management expert, called for the intervention of ADR practitioners, particularly mediators to support in ensuring speedy and amicable resolution of procurement disputes.
Congratulating the 28 graduands of the PEM ADR course, he urged them and ADR practitioners in general to avail themselves to the study of the procurement laws and systems so as to help in resolving related disputes.
“You need to bear in mind that there are issues about the procurement process that can cause disputes and we need dispute resolution experts to be able to deal with it otherwise there will be serious losses by government, contractors and consultants,” he stated.
PEM ADR is the longest running ADR masters training programme in Africa, currently organized in collaboration with Pulse Institute and the University of Virgin Islands (UVI-PULSE), USA.
ADR has become a major tool for ensuring peaceful resolution of disputes without the adversarial court litigation.
With their graduation on yesterday, the 28 course participants for the 2018 ADR course are now certified to practice as professional ADR practitioners, and mainly as Arbitrators and Mediators.
The graduands are made up of lawyers, human resource managers, bankers, media practitioners, traditional leaders, religious leaders, union leaders, business executives, court registrars and governance experts.
The ceremony was also used to induct the new students for the 21st Cohort of the PEM ADR 2019 programme.
Mr Austin Akufo Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Group, in his welcome address, noted that the programme has expanded since 2017, following the inclusion of courses including land, banking and finance, contracts design, procurement and corporate governance dispute resolution.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com