Insider trading has developed into a habit, according to Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and it is having an impact on Ghana’s procurement procedure.
He claims that some personnel in charge of procuring goods and services for the various governmental organizations sell information to suppliers and contractors so they may win contracts.
Mr. Dame said that the approach violates the notion of fairness in procurement when speaking at the 40th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime.
“Indeed, it is the case that wrongdoers will always find a way. They will constantly devise artful means of evading the long arm of the law. In spite of these protective measures, corrupt activities occur at various stages in the procurement process. These unquestionably have a significant negative impact on the economy and harm the development of society.
“Insider trading is just one of many unethical behaviours. Some officials responsible for procurement activities in various public institutions abuse the trust by engaging in what is popularly known as “behind the scenes” business with contractors and suppliers.”
He said that the illegal protection provided by public procurement authorities, who have the responsibility to find and correct them, hinders the discovery of fraudulent or conflicting statements made by contractors.
Regarding a situation that occurred in Ghana, Mr. Dame stated the former Public Procurement Authority (PPA) boss’s case is one that shocked the country.
“The most chilling, and perhaps shocking case of insider dealing was witnessed when a former head of the Public Procurement Authority was implicated in what was notoriously dubbed “Contracts for Sale”.
“As the head of the Procurement Authority, he was alleged to have established a company in which he held majority shares and which also actively bid for government contracts. This company was alleged to usually win the contracts which were then sold to other contractors at a higher price.”
He said that after government intervention, the President terminated his contract.
The Attorney General further stated that while the investigation is underway, Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei’s membership in many professional organizations has been revoked.
“The record also shows a trial of other cases involving insider dealing in various courts in Ghana,” he stressed.