The government has established a new selection process for the school feeding programme through the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.
The process, according to sector Minister Lariba Zuweira Abudu, will include a competitive advertisement.
This was revealed by the Minister when she went before Parliament on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, to answer questions concerning her sector ministry.
Dr. Clement Apaak, Deputy Ranking Member of the Education Committee, asked for the minister to disclose how the caterers are selected and the current number of them working under the programme.
In response to the query, the minister stated that all 10,832 caterer contracts had expired and that the government was in the process of selecting new caterers.
She informed the House that all 10,832 caterers’ contracts had expired and that she would begin the process of awarding new contracts through a strict regime.
The Minister added that once the contracts of the 10,832 caterers expired, the caterers will be chosen through competitive bidding.
According to the Minister, adverts for prospective caterers will be put in national newspapers, and only qualified caterers will be chosen at the end of the process.
The Minister emphasised that the procedure entails advertising, application evaluation, interview selection, contracting, and allocating caterers to schools, with approvals required at each stage.
The Minister explained that the new selection process will consist of eight steps, which are as follows:
- Competitive Advertisement: We will advertise soon. The Ministry and Ghana School Feeding Programme National Secretariat will advertise nationally specifying the selection criteria and mandatory requirements.
- Applications will be submitted: Caterers will apply online and submit required documents including registration certificates, financial statements, health certificates, and permits.
- Assessment of applications: The National Secretariat will evaluate the applications based on the criteria and compile a list of qualified applicants.
- Interview for selected applicants: An interview panel will assess the shortlisted caterers individually, considering their advertised criteria and the highest-scoring caterers assigned to the schools.
- Submission and approval: The interview panel will submit the evaluation report to the National Secretariat, and the final list of qualified caterers, will be sent to the Ministry of Gender for approval and contracting.
- Contracting Phase: The National Secretariat prepares caterer documents, including details of the caterer, and assigns school, and signatures officials. The contracts are distributed to relevant applicants.
- Assigning a caterer to a school: The National Secretariat Officials will use the MIS through the digitisation process to assign the schools while selecting the appropriate classes.
- Authorising a caterer assigned to a school: The National Secretariat reviews and approves validated caterer records at the district, regional and national levels.
In response to the new approach, the Builsa South MP characterised it as rigorous and promised to keep an eye on it to ensure the government followed it to the letter.