By Joseph A. Kamanda
The National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020 disclosed efforts at blocking leakages and wastages in public procurement procedures through monitoring and reviewing of procurement process being undertaken by Ministries Departments and Agencies.
The authority made this disclosure at the official launching of its Second Quarter Bulletin, with theme; “Value for Money”, during a ceremony held at the conference hall of the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning, Tower Hill in Freetown.
The occasion attracted stakeholders in the area of transparency and accountability, including Transparency International Sierra Leone Budget Advocacy Network and host of Civil Society Organizations.
Addressing audience including the media, at launching of the bulletin, NPPA Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Brima Swaray said as a nation “we prefer blame games and we need to move away from that and be proactive, as resource management in state governance of the country is key, that is why electioneering processes are marred by tension.”
He said well over Le 12bn public procurement leakages and wastages were recently blocked by the NPPA through the authority’s rigid monitoring and review of procurement processes, pointing out his institution was able to save government Le. 12,767,921,765.
Mr Swaray therefore said as a regulatory authority of all public procurement process, NPPA will ensure that the management of resources and the people’s moneys are managed properly.
“For us to manage those moneys properly there has to be high level of transparency and accountability, he reassured, adding that NPPA has therefore deem it fit to ensure that all public procurement processes being undertaken by MDAs are published in the bulletin for the people of Sierra Leone to know and raise a red flag as and where necessary, and to a large extent see how best defaulters can face penalties for their failures to comply with the laid down public procurement guiding rules and regulations in the best interest of accountability, he assured.
Mr Swaray furthered that the NPPA Second Quarter Bulletin catalogued and highlighted performing and non-performing MDAs in terms of compliance with the guiding principles of public procurement, while commending the Anti-Corruption Commission, National Revenue Authority and Audit Service for strictly abiding by the laws.
He described benchmarking as one of the best procedures for proper planning.
On the blocking of wastages, the NPPA CEO informed that costs saved include those from Audit Service Sierra Leone, to the tune of Le. 193,074,400 for the procurement of lot A-computers, computer consumables and ancillaries, Lot-B office supplies, lot C- supply and installation of furniture and equipment.
NPPA according to its Second Quarter Bulletin, discovered that bid document provided for the bit price be delivered duty paid so the inclusion of GST to the bid price during evaluation tantamount to double taxation. NPPA thus advised ASSL to take out the GST to avoid double taxation which resulted to the savings of Le. 193,074,400.
Also captured in the NPPA periodical, is the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for the submission of technical evaluation report in respect of the award of framework contracts for fiscal year 2020 at the sum of Le.11,638,000, in which the authority also unearthed computational error. NPPA therefore asked the entity for fix the error resulting to a savings of Le. 11,638,000.
Another public entities the NPPA publication also raised the red flag against their public procurement processes, are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sierra Leone Cables, Freetown City Council, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Sierra Leone Roads Authority and the Accountant General’s Department.
Commitments were collectively registered by representative of the BAN and TISL followed by courageous motivational remarks from the NPPA Board Chairman to procurement officers service MDAs across the country.