August 21, 2019

In the performance of its functions and mandate, the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) as a regulatory body for public procurement, is vested with the authority to develop and issue out forms and standards to be used on a mandatory basis by procuring entities.

The procuring entities are also required by law to be reporting to the Authority on their procurement activities. In this regard, the Authority has since its establishment developed and issued Standard Procurement Forms (SPF) 1-6 as reporting tools and data collection mechanism. In the recent past, the Authority has not been able to collect reliable records from procuring entities relating to their procurement activities. In addition to the above, recent monitoring exercise by the Authority has proved that a good number of procurement practitioners/officers are not well grounded in the application and utilization of the SPF. In light of the above and coupled with the Authority’s mandate to be undertaking training for procurement officers and the need to meet the benchmark indicators for European Union budgetary support for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal year, the Authority in collaboration with the Directorate of Procurement in the Ministry of Finance with funding from European Union on 29th July 2019 embarked on a nationwide training workshops for procurement officers in the Ministries, Department and Agencies including local councils, targeting procurement officers in all MDAs and local councils on the use of SPF and Procurement Reporting starting in the Western Area. In the Western Area, Participants from125 MDAs were trained, each MDA sending two participants each, making a total of 250 participants from 125 MDAs for Western Area.

The training for the Western Area ended on 9th August 2019 with award of certificates to each participant at the end of training session.

At the end of the training in Western Area, NPPA cascaded the training to the regions targeting 14 participants from each region, starting with the Northern Region. The training in the Northern Region was held at the Makeni City Hall, Makeni on 12th August 2019 targeting 31 procurement officers/practitioners from Makeni District and City Councils, Port Loko District and City Councils, Kambia District Council, Karene District Council, Falaba District Council, Koinadugu District Council, and Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology. In his welcome address, the Director of Capacity Building at the NPPA, Mr. Allieu Moigboi said in the past, procurement officers were not been complying with their monthly reporting of procurement activities using the SPF 1-6. He said the purpose of the training was to enhance the capacity of procurement officer in completing the forms and to ensure accurate data collection on public procurement for the purpose of advising government. The Chief Executive of the NPPA, Mr. Ibrahim Brima Swaray in his brief address admonished procurement officers to be professional in their duties and follow due procedures. He said procurement officers are not mere clerical staffs who are to take minutes of procurement committees meeting but should give technical advice to procurement committees in the various entities, whilst stressing the need for record keeping of procurement activities. The training ended with the presentation of certificates to the participants by the Chief Executive.

On 14th August 2019, the training for the Southern Region was held at the Regional Office of the NPPA at No. 5 Prince Williams Street, Bo. Participants were drawn from the Bo District and City Councils, Bonthe District and City Councils, Moyamba District Council, Pujehun District Council, Njala University, and the media thus targeting a total of 14 procurement practitioners.

The nationwide training ended in Kenema at the Eastern Polytechnic, Kenema on Friday 16th August 2019 targeting 8 procurement practitioners from Kenema District and City Councils, Eastern Polytechnic and Kailahun District Council.

Francis Momoh Gbaya Esq., the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs at the NPPA made a statement on behalf o the Chief Executive. In his statement, he admonished procurement officers to maintain high integrity in their duties and stated that the vision of the Chief Executive is to ensure that the issues of breach of procurement procedures cease to be featured in annual Audit Report. He stated that if the procurement officers diligently complete the SPF 1-6 and report accurately and regularly on procurement activities in their entities, the Annual Audit Report will focus on other issues like financial auditing. The media was also part of the training. The training ended with the presentation of certificates to the participants by Francis Momoh Gbaya Esq., the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs. The training sessions in the regions were participatory with comments, contributions, recommendations and inputs from participants.

In all the regions, radio discussion programmes on the use of SPF 1-6 and procurement reporting was done sequel to the training on HOPE FM radio in Makeni, KISS 104 radio in Bo and Kamboi Agriculture radio in Kenema.

Facilitators for the training for the regions were the following staff of the NPPA in the persons of Allieu Moigboi, Director of Capacity Building, Mr. Abubakarr Morie Junisa, Acting Director, Procurement Processes and Procedures, and Mr. Ambrose Samuels, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

From the Legal & Corporate Affairs Directorate NPPA

Source – Concord Times. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.GlobalDiasporaNews.com).

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