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Exploring corruption practices in public procurement of infrastructural projects in Ghana

E. Osei‐Tutu (Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana)
E. Badu (Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
D. Owusu‐Manu (Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 6 April 2010




While corruption has long been recognized as a destructive social problem, the subject has not yet been given much attention in the literature of the management of procurement of infrastructure projects in Ghana. The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss corruption practices inherent in public procurement of infrastructural projects in Ghana with the aim of identifying corruption related challenges that must be addressed in order to actualize the expected economic gains of infrastructural projects.


Drawing extensively on existing literature and published data, the methodology adopted for the paper consisted of multi‐stage critical review of pertinent literature; review of 2007 Annual Report of the Public Procurement Authority and review of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663). The study assumes value‐laden axiological philosophy, where the values and experiences of the authors provided the basis for the discussion.


Conflict of interest, bribery, embezzlement, kickbacks, tender manipulation and fraud are observed corruption practices in the Ghanaian infrastructure projects delivery system. The severity of corruption practices have intensified the search for more innovative means of delivering infrastructure projects that will achieve value for money. In the pursuit to control corruption practices, this would require constitution of a sound procurement system and pro‐social equity policies that would foster good governance, corporate social responsibility, transparency, accountability, judicious public expenditure and national progress. The Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) is observed to proffer solutions for these underlying constructs but not without challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The nature of the research is review and explanatory without any empirical analysis to support the discussions and thus the results cannot be generalized on a broader context of public procurement practice in Ghana.

Practical implications

Implementation of sound procurement performance measurements would be imperative in the bid to curb corruption practices. The paper suggested a number of business approaches to combat corrupt practices in Ghana, which are explained in terms of political, psychological, technical, operational and retaliatory measures. In this paper, it is proposed that knowledge about and debating corruption related issues is just as important to the modern public procurement as are the abilities to creatively and logically introduce monitoring systems when planning, executing and completing projects.


The work is novel providing meaningful insights into conceptual basis for a detailed empirical analysis. Being a pioneering study, further research tailored to compare the extent of corruption practices in various sectors of the economy of Ghana would be novel.



Osei‐Tutu, E., Badu, E. and Owusu‐Manu, D. (2010), "Exploring corruption practices in public procurement of infrastructural projects in Ghana", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 236-256.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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