The Head of the Capacity Building Unit at the National Public Procurement Authority Dr. Fredrick H Musa has said that Educational Institutions of Higher learning in the country need to offer short term courses on Public Procurement to prepare a generation of procurement professionals that will contribute meaningfully to rapid economic development in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Musa made this disclosure during an exclusive interview with our reporter at the closing ceremony of a five days training of trainer’s workshop on capacity building at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown, for Heads of Colleges and Public Consulting firms to enable them prepare strategies for the conduct of short term courses on Public Procurement in colleges across the country.
He added that in an effort to complement the decentralization process public procurement is rolling out from IPAM to Makeni Polytechnic, Kenema Polytechnic, Njala University College in Bo and Fourah bay College in Freetown so as to build their capacity to deliver public procurement courses effectively in partnership with the private sector.
He also said that participants of the training of trainer’s course discussed several topics on public procurement that included introductions to Public Procurement, quick assessment of skills and competencies of participants, legal frame work, and procurement cycle, ethics in Procurement and procurement planning and budgeting.
Dr Musa intimated that participants also discussed Records Management, Method of Procurement, Procurement Advertisement, Bidding Process, identification of requirements, development of Goods Specification, approval of specification and evaluation of bids.
He added that trained and qualified facilitators with long experiences shared ideas with the participants, and that delegates will be nominated for future capacity building programmes at various colleges on public procurement.
On the question of competence in Public Procurement Dr. Musa said IPAM College has trained graduates in procurement courses and there was a need to expand the courses to other parts of the country as they look forward to enhance procurement compliance through E- Procurement in the not too distant future.
He noted that Public Procurement Compliance have been very low in government agencies, public and private sectors, he cited the non-preparation of annual procurement plans and submission for approval for the fiscal year and implementing plans adding that the level of compliance is not encouraging in the country.
Dr. Musa called on Government agencies to work hand in hand with the capacity building unit of the National Public Procurement Authority to strengthen procurement units and officers to be adequately empowered with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding for effective implementation and accountability.
He encouraged participants of the training to share the knowledge learnt and prepare for the short term courses on public procurement at their various institutions of higher learning so as to develop students to become professionals in public procurement who will form part of the work force that will contribute to sustainable economic growth with an objective of having value for money for the development of the country.
Facilitators of the training of training course included Dr. Alfred Kandeh, Mr. Kabia, Mr. Matturi and Lappia, Moses Ngebeh, Fredrick Musa, H Kuyembeh, and Mrs. Georgiana Kamara shared ideas and experiences on public procurement with participants.