Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu, Alhaji Alhassan Bashir A. Fuseini, has indicated that the service agreement by Zipline on drone technology for the delivery of emergency health blood products, through a sole sourcing procurement process is a dangerous deal.
He stated that there are dozens of companies, involved in the service delivery of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones), and that Zipline is not the only professional company around the World in drone technology.
Speaking to ghanajustice.com in an interview in Parliament, Mr. Fuseini averred that the procurement process of the healthcare service delivery should have been opened up to ensure value for money.
He further explained that there was no value for money report on the service agreement presented to the House for consideration by the Health Ministry.
“The service agreement presented to Parliament is very suspicious. There was no Attorney General’s opinion on the contract. The Finance Ministry was also not consulted according to my close source. This clearly shows that the service agreement is vitiated by fraud”, he lamented.
Mr. Fuseini continued to state that the current government’s procurement process is unprecedented in the history of Ghana, and that more than 75 percent of its transactions are sole sourced.
On the rationale behind sole sourcing, Mr. Fuseini reiterated that there was nothing urgent about the Zipline service agreement.
He disclosed that blood cannot be transfused in rural health facilities and Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compounds, except in a standardised hospital with all the necessary medical equipment.
“Health centres at the rural areas have no mandate to transfuse blood. If drones are flown to centres where they are not empowered to transfuse blood, then what is the purpose of sending the blood? This is causing financial lose to the state”, he revealed.
The Public Procurement Act and sole-sourcing
The Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) defines the conditions under which single-sourcing of a contract ought to be procured.
Section 40 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 stipulates that “a procurement entity may engage in single-source procurement under section 41 with the approval of the Board,
(a) where goods, works or services are only available from a particular supplier or contractor, or if a particular supplier or contractor has exclusive rights in respect of the goods, works or services, and no reasonable alternative or substitute exists;
(b) where there is an urgent need for the goods, works or services and engaging in tender proceedings or any other method of procurement is impractical due to unforeseeable circumstances giving rise to the urgency which is not the result of dilatory conduct on the part of the procurement entity;
(c) where owing to a catastrophic event, there is an urgent need for the goods, works or technical services, making it impractical to use other methods of procurement because of the time involved in using those methods;
(d) where a procurement entity which has procured goods, equipment, technology or services from a supplier or contractor, determines that;
(i) additional supplies need to be procured from that supplier or contractor because of standardisation;
(ii) there is a need for compatibility with existing goods, equipment, technology or services, taking into account the effectiveness of the original procurement in meeting the needs of the procurement entity;
(iii) the limited size of the proposed procurement in relation to the original procurement provides justification.”