In line with the national desire to prevent conflicts in procurement processes, procurement officers have been advised to strictly adhere to the procurement laws of the country.
According to Mr. John Addai, a procurement expert, Ghana’s Public Procurement (Amendment) Act 2016, Act 914, has made adequate provisions that help to avoid all manner of conflicts associated with that activity.
In a interview with ADR Daily in Accra, he said the law remains in a good state which should serve as a guide to practitioners.
“The problem arises when people try to use alternative means to undertake procurement,” he said, adding that attitude towards the application of the law must improve.
Kicking against the perception that the county’s procurement laws are too cumbersome to apply, Mr. Addai, who is a Supply Chain practitioner in the Oil and Gas sector, said “the system is not terrible as some think, but the trouble only arises when people use unconventional methods in their attempts to circumvent the procurement process.” he added.
Regarding contract conflicts, he said a vital way of avoiding such disputes is to urge parties of contracts to carefully read and understand the terms of contracts before agreeing to them.
Citing cases of conflicts between producers and buyers, he said many buyers fail to critically read and understand the terms and conditions of contracts for their purchases later resulting in disputes.
The terms and conditions, which are integral to products and services, inform the buyer of the nature of the product or service although they are usually to the benefit of the producer, buyers could also derive benefits if they critically assess the conditions and bargain for more favourable terms.
He said, irrespective of the conditions, conflicts often occur, adding that the parties, especially producers need to effectively manage such conflicts.
The most effective way of managing contract conflicts, he noted, is to deploy Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms that guarantee a mutually acceptable resolution.
He therefore advised both producers and customers to seek redress using ADR processes instead of heading for the courts where legal adjudication would take years to decide on the matter amidst legal costs and time wasting.
By: Fred Gadese-Mensah /adrdaily.com