Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI



Gambia: More Gov’t Officers Trained On Procurement

The Point via AllAfrica

The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) has continued to train government officials on the Gambia public procurement system.

A recent training exercise was the fifth training workshop delivered by GPPA in recent months, which brought the total number of government officers trained to over 250, according to a press release sent to The Point.

The latest training session, held at Ocean Bay Hotel, attracted participants from government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals, including GPA, CBG, SSHFC and GCAA, according to the release.

The press release further stated that the workshop was delivered by GPPA specialist procurement officers supported by the EU-funded Short Term Technical Assistance consultants led by E John Blunt.

The EU-funded consultants are supporting the implementation of the reform of the procurement regulatory framework, improving the procurements management capacity, and improving the GPPA information systems for procurement in line with the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS).

“THE EU and GPPA are also very pleased to announce that the EU is funding a team of Long Term Technical Assistance Consultants led by Mr Olivier Barnouin and supported by Mr John Auma, who would continue the reforms designed and already underway.”

While much reform has stated, further reform is required, especially in reinforcing key procurement structures, delivering further training and increasing procurement oversight, the release said.

GPPA is responsible for the regulation and monitoring of public procurement in The Gambia, monitoring performance of procuring organizations to ascertain efficiency and compliance with applicable legislation, regulations and instructions, providing annually a quantitative and qualitative assessment of procurement activities in The Gambia to the Minister of Finance and could refer to the Auditor-General any violations.

GPPA recently appeared before the National Assembly’s PAC/PEC where its 2013 activity report was unanimously accepted.

There is wide agreement that significant public spending takes place through the public procurement system, and a well-functioning procurement system ensures that Government funds are used effectively to achieve efficiency and value for money in the delivery of programmes and services by the government.

Up to 70 per cent of a government’s budget is spent through a public procurement process.

A specific focus of this workshop is consideration of achieving ‘Value for Money’.

Value for money does not necessarily mean the lowest price. It is a product of Quality, Time and Cost and there are clear trade-offs between the three.

For example, a higher quality outcome may involve a longer delivery timeframe or higher cost, or both. In assessing value for money, each component must be assigned a measure of relative importance.

Delivery of value for money in public procurement in The Gambia could be assisted by a number of actions including avoiding unnecessary purchases – procure only what is needed; improving the management of inventory and assets to ensure government knows what it has and where, so that a reallocation of resources rather than procurement should be the first consideration.

Focusing on competitive tendering for all procurement barriers to the participation of suppliers being removed, limiting exemptions from compliance with provisions of PPA (2014), especially for public works and utilities’ procurement and institutions, all exemptions should be item specific and of time limit.

It also ensured that all procuring organisations are regularly assessed by GPPA.

The design, development and delivery of the training workshops is just the start for GPPA, which is implementing its 2015 Training Plan with the support of the EU which will include members of National Assembly and its PAC/PEC, officers from the National Audit Office, Internal Auditors, officers from subvented institutions and members of the new Procurement Cadre.

GPPA is also planning to train suppliers and contractors on ‘How to do business with Government’.

GPPA is also planning to deliver training regionally to assist all officers who are not able to access training in Banjul.

The recent trainings demonstrate GPPA’s commitment to building the capacity of stakeholders of The Gambia public procurement system, the release added.

Call for African governments to collaborate on procurement reform

Supply Management

15 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds

African governments should work together and pool procurement systems to develop more efficient and transparent public services.

This was the message given to delegates attending the Commonwealth Public Procurement Network (CPPN) conference in Tanzania last week, which examined the reforms taking place in public financial and procurement systems across African Commonwealth countries.

The CPPN was set up by the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2006 to provide a platform for policy makers and regulators to recommend changes to governments to ensure best value delivery of public services.

Marcel Holder Robinson, acting adviser of public expenditure management at the Commonwealth Secretariat, told SM: “Governments can no longer view procurement as an administrative function, but rather a strategic and political one.”

The conference looked at member countries that have implemented new procurement structures, such as in Tanzania where a procurement complaints body and a board of purchasing and supply professionals have been set up under the control of the public procurement policy division in the Ministry of Finance.

The CPPN also identified the constraints and benefits of countries shifting from a largely legal-based procurement system to a more up-to date public procurement system involving performance management and accountability structures, which has taken place in Ghana.

“While embracing the values of a sound procurement system, there was consensus among the delegates on the merits of emerging trends such as a sustainable approach to procurement, e-procurement and collaborative procurement to achieve greater value for targeted segments as well as for society at large,” said Anund Mudhoo, chair of the CPPN.

A review was carried out into what steps are being taken to address green and socially responsible procurement. A panel asked whether countries are becoming a dumping ground for poor quality products and if enough is being done to prevent corruption and abuse of employment and health and safety laws.

Additional areas of discussion were women’s participation in public contracting in South Africa and using IT for improved purchasing processes.

One outcome of the conference has been the development of an online community, which has been built by the Commonwealth Secretariat enabling countries to share information and advice.

The conference also encouraged the benefits of pooled procurement systems in sub-regions. It advised collaboration on areas such as price negotiation, quality assurance and supplier prequalification.

The CPPN called for more current data on member countries’ reforms and has begun working on an initiative to address this matter.

The network is also working to establish relationships with organisations that hold similar interests and collaborate to design programmes to help countries implementing procurement reforms.

The conference was attended by more than 140 senior procurement officials from over 20 commonwealth countries, including Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda and Zambia, as well as representatives from CIPS Africa, the African Capacity Building Foundation and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise.

Gambia: Fertilizer Commission Begins Sittings Two Ex-Agric PS’ Testify

Location map of the Gambia
Image via Wikipedia

By Sidiq Asemota and Sanna Jawara

October  17, 2011

The Commission of Inquiry into Fertilizer Procurement and Distribution in The Gambia, chaired by Justice Emmanuel Nkea, commenced sitting last Friday, 14th October 2011 at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

The first witness, 57-year-old Bakary Trawally from Kololi, presently a consultant on Pest Management, who is an ex-permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture; and the second witness, Dr. Amadou Sowe, a 53-year-old who works presently as a freelance Agricultural economist, testified at the start of the sitting of the Commission on Friday.

On the hand, the third witness, Momodou Ceesay, a businessman and native of Kinteh-Kunda Marong Kunda in Badibou, North Bank Region, gave his evidence before the Commission on Saturday.

Trawally was the permanent secretary (PS) at the Department of State for Agriculture in January 2008 and in March 2008, he was appointed permanent secretary No. 1; in November 2008 he was demoted to PS No. 2. On the 30th of April 2009 his service was terminated but was reappointed as PS No.1 on the 26th of May 2009 and Seedy Jarjue was made PS No. 2 of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

On the 29th of May 2009, Seedy Jarjue was dismissed from MOA whilst Bakary Trawally was dismissed from service on the 5th of January 2010 but was reinstated as PS No. 1 on the 25th of January 2011 and then dismissed again from service on the 14th of March 2011.

In his testimony, ex-PS Bakary Trawally told the Commission that he was the PS that executed the fertilizer contract but had never bothered himself to read or make any reference to executing the contractRead more.

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