The National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has concluded a week long sensitization in Makeni and Bo for procurement personnel, Government agencies, Local Councils and Public enterprises for efficient, transparent and accountable procurement activities with the objective of building their capacity to understand their roles and responsibilities
The National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has a mandate to regulate, monitor and evaluate procurement activities of procuring entities for both the public and private sectors with the view to ensuring proper procurement compliance so as to have value for expended money with quality service delivery.
Public Procurement is the process by which Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government including Local Councils, Parastatals, State owned Enterprises and colleges acquire goods and services and civic works utilizing public funds.
Procurement also includes planning the acquisition inviting offers from the public, evaluating and awarding contracts and monitoring those contracts to completion. It is therefore relevant because the Government aims at bringing sanity to the public service by knotting the leaks in public expenditure so as to have sufficient resources for national development.
As the Government strives to use the nation’s resources to promote infrastructural development by building good roads and hospitals, agriculture, education, and tourism, proper procurement compliance will ensure quality and timely delivery of goods and services.
Procurement planning provides the basis for the control and management of procurement activities to enhance the likelihood that such activities are effective and national objectives are met within the available resources, because value for money, transparency and compliance
with the rules and regulations by procuring entities must be demonstrated to relevant stakeholders including entity boards of Directors and development partners .
Government Departments, Commissions and Public Enterprises are under obligation to establish procurement units and appoint procurement personnel for the day to day running of the unit; the head of the entity supervises all procurement activities to ensure compliance.
The Executive Secretary of NPPA Dr. Alfred Kandeh has embarked on massive sensitization of procurement personnel and heads of entities about relevant issues relating to procurement activities and management of records.
The Authority has also embarked on capacity building training for procurement personnel in government entities and public enterprises to ensure procurement compliance according to the provisions of the Act and its regulations.
However compliance to procurement rules has remained a very serious stumbling block for the success of the authority but with the commitment and determination of Dr. Kandeh and his team at the Authority, a lot of progress has been made on sensitization, monitoring and evaluation to ensure proper compliance.
The Authority is also working with relevant heads of entities to establish procurement units and appoint procurement personnel in a bid to ensure trained and qualified procurement personnel are capable of handling procurement activities with the objective of having value for money.
Submissions of annual procurement plans are also mandatory to all procuring entities to always submit their plans to the Authority for approval before they have legitimacy to embark on any procurement activity.
As a nation we are faced with competing priorities and limited resources as every sector requires urgent attention because the [people are in need of durable shelter, food, good roads schools medical facilities water and electricity, this is why we must spend public funds wisely.
NPPA has revealed that many procuring entities encounter sub optimal value for public funds because of poor planning and poor supervision by Boards A single project may involve many different items to be procured civil works to be constructed and services to be provided, planning is required to ensure the optimal way of combining and dividing goods.
Public Procurement the Authority reveals were not treated with seriousness in the past as there were people in both the public and private sectors who do not want to cooperate with the National Public Procurement Authority.Heads of entities and
Boards need to strengthen their internal audit functions and follow up with reports on procurement activities. The era of willful and reckless spending with impunity is over because the Executive Secretary Dr. Alfred Kandeh and team are
determined to monitor the procurement process and procedures to ensure full compliance with the rules and regulations.
The Authority constantly reports to the Government on infringements and such reports are also transmitted to the Attorney General and the Anti Corruption Commission which have the necessary powers to prosecute under sections 33 and 34 of the Public Procurement Act 2004.
By Saidu Bah