GACC trains CSOs, Private Sector and media on OCDS

Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has held a workshop for Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDCs); representatives of Public Procurement Authority (PPA); Civil Society Organization (CSOs), the Private Sector and the media on Open Contract Data Standards (OCDS).

The engagement with stakeholders is to increase Implementation of OCDS practices among government and private sector.

It is to identify advocacy strategies for the implementation of the OCDS; to advocate for increased usage of the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) by procuring entities.

The GACC has partnered the Africa Freedom for Information Centre (AFIC) to implement the project titled, ”Strengthening Disclosure and Citizen Participation to improve Value for Money in Public Contracting in Africa (Ghana)”, with funding support from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The objectives of the training workshop are to identify and share good practices and challenges in OCDS for effective compliance and to empower stakeholders to effectively implement OCDS principles.

The project seeks to Strengthen Disclosure and Citizen Participation to Improve Value for Money in Public contracting in Africa.

This comes after a workshop carried out earlier this year on OCDS related issues.

The project seeks an open government machinery that discloses information on contracting and public procurement principles.

Kwesi Boateng Assumeni, Programmes Officer at GACC indicated that the project  will increase government’s commitment to the open contracting principles which has been signed under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP).

He said “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”.

“The workshop is to identify advocacy strategies for implementation of the OCDS; to advocate for increased usage of the Ghana Electronic Procurement System (GHANEPS) by procuring entities”.

The 2-day workshop brought together participants from public sector that consists of represents Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDCs) and members Public Procurement Authority (PPA);  participants from CSOs and private sector including the media.

Mad. Esi Sey, Independent consultant and Development Practitiiner, indicated during the workshop that “The adoption of OCDS is a bigger advocacy issue,  so everyone can take a specific angle to it, and then table their strategies and deal with it the right way”.

It was concluded at the meeting that elements of OCDS advocacy strategies should be in the following concerns as having evidence gathering and research;  public sensitization; alliance building (local level representatives and religious bodies); capacity building elements;  and to intensify advocacy regarding Right to Information on OCDS and the appointment of key public officers in relation to OCDS.

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.

Source: Delali Gavor

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