national cathedral
The design for the National Cathedral

A Procurement expert, Kobina Ata-Bedu, has questioned the basis on which the architectural design contract for the National Cathedral was sole-sourced to Sir David Adjaye and Associates Limited.

According to him, sole-sourcing the contract to Mr Adjaye was illegal, since the contract did not qualify for that.

“I (want to) ask why the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) CEO and board approved the contract? Because from an architecture point of view, it does not qualify under any circumstance for sole sourcing,” he said on JoyFM‘s Super Morning Show, on Monday, June 20.

His comment follows the allegation by Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, that the architecture work for the National Cathedral project was sole-sourced to Sir David Adjaye and Associates Limited at $22 million.

Mr Simons had insisted that the $22 million agreement amounts to 10 percent of the total cost to be incurred for the National Cathedral project.

In a tweet shared on June 16, 2022, the Honorary Vice President of IMANI added that Sir David Adjaye and Associates Limited were paid $6 million even before they commenced work.

“To build its national cathedral, Ghana decides to single-source just the architecture to Adjaye & assoc for $22m (10% of project cost!) And pay $6m upfront!,” portions of the tweet read.

Mr Ata-Bedu also stated that Mr Adjaye had not been inducted into the Architecture register at the time when the contract was awarded to him (which was a prerequisite for awarding the contract), therefore, he was not qualified for the contract.

What the Law says about sole sourcing

Section 40 of the Public Procurement Act (act 663) says that;

(1) 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, that 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;

(e) where the procurement entity seeks to enter into a contract with the supplier or contractor for research, experiment, study, or development, except where the contract includes the production of goods in quantities to establish commercial viability or recover research and development costs; or (f) where the procurement entity applies this Act for procurement that concerns national security and determines that single-source procurement is the most appropriate method of procurement.

(2) A procurement entity may engage in single-source procurement with the approval of the Board after public notice and time for comment where procurement from a particular supplier or contract or is necessary in order to promote a policy specified in section 59(4)(c), (d) or 69(2)(c)(i), and procurement from another supplier or contractor cannot promote that policy.

Touching on this, Mr. Ata-Bedu insisted that the contract does not meet any of the above requirements mentioned for a contract to qualify for sole-sourcing.