The contracts of school feeding caterers have expired, according to Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Walewale, revealed this when she appeared before Parliament on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, to answer questions.
She told the House that the contracts of all 10,832 caterers had expired and that she would begin the process of awarding new contracts through a rigorous regime.
Dr. Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament for Builsa South, asked the Minister to inform the House of the number of caterers under the programme and how they are recruited.
In her response, the Minister stated that all of the caterers’ contracts had expired.
The Minister stated that after the contracts of the 10,832 caterers expired, the selection of caterers would be done through competitive advertisement.
The Minister said that advertisements for prospective caterers would be placed in national newspapers and that only qualified caterers would be selected after the process.
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.
The Minister stressed that the process involves advertisement, application assessment, interview selection, contracting, and assigning caterers to the schools, with necessary approvals at each stage.