CUTS Ghana advocates prioritization of Competition Policy and Law

CUTS Ghana, a policy think thank which works in areas of consumer protection and education, economic regulation, trade and development, regional integration, competition policy and law among others has called on the government to make the passage of a competition policy and law a legislative priority for 2016.

It said it is only through these actions by the State that the wrong in the market can be corrected for the market to achieve its full potential.

The policy think thank also appealed to policy makers to develop effective tools to prevent or deter collusion in public procurement which would help in generating very relevant savings for the government and boost its expenditure capabilities as well as make a significant contribution to the promotion of effective market competition in sectors where procurement accounts for the larger volume of its purchases.

Speaking at a forum to commemorate World Competition Day which fell on 5th December this year, Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana said promoting competitive tendering processes in procurement enable consumers to maximize value for their money and make intelligent decisions.

Vigorous competition among suppliers he said also helps to enhance the economy of the country by generating demand and consumption.

The World Competition Day according to the Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana is a campaign that was initiated to ensure that Governments and consumers across the globe realized the potential benefits of having an effectively implemented competition regime.

Competition, he said is become a growing phenomenon not only among the developed economies but also in developing countries. Competition according to the Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana is a fundamental tenet of a well-functioning economy and encourages companies to provide consumers with the products and services that they want at lower prices with better quality of service and stimulation for innovation and more importantly efficiency in allocation of resources.

Over the years, Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako said enough evidence has shown that infusing competition in policy making processes is essential if the policies are expected to work for all. Quoting Joseph Stiglitz the Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana said ‘’A strong competition policy is not just a luxury to be enjoyed by rich countries, but a real necessity for those striving to create democratic market economies’’.

CUTS in collaboration with the International Network of Civil Society Organizations [INCSOC] Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako said has been spearheading this campaign to observe the World Competition Day since 5th December, 2010. 5th December, he noted was strategically selected because it is the day the UN conference on Restrictive Business Practices approved the UN set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the control of Restrictive Business Practices.

This year’s theme christened ‘’competition issues in public procurement’’ according to the Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana is timely as public procurement processes have a direct bearing on social gains for both producers and consumers. The relationship between the public procurement and competition Mr. Appiah Kusi Adomako noted is increasingly receiving more attention both in the policy making circles and among civil society organizations.

The Centre Coordinator for CUTS Ghana said it is becoming common ground that public procurement holds a complex relationship with market competition and that consequently a tighter link between public procurement and competition law enforcement needs to be established.

He disclosed that a study commissioned by OECD in 2013 revealed three main challenges that keep public procurement from being pro-competitive. First, the difficult balance in terms of procurement transparency created by the clash between competition and corruption concerns. Secondly, the potential anti-competitive effects that public procurement may generate and lastly, the possible competition distortions that may occur as a result of the generalisation of public procurement processes.

CUTS international, a policy think thank has offices in Geneva, Jaipur, New Delhi, Lusaka, Nairobi and Hanoi and now in Accra.

CUTS over the years has been partnering with different organizations both at international and global level with sole purpose of influencing change in policy and economic decision making processes. Sources close to CUTS told this reporter that it work spans a multi-pronged agenda targeted to the realization of its vision of consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental necessity within and across borders has also gathered that CUTS is implementing a project dubbed “Advocating for a Functional Competition Regime for Ghana [COMPAD]” with support from BUSAC Fund. The main goal of this project is to complement the Government of Ghana’s efforts towards evolving a functional national competition policy and law in Ghana.

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