LGCI: GPPA staff infers flouting of due procurement process at BAC

An official of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) yesterday hinted, as contained in the 2019 BAC procurement reviewed by GPPA that a number of activities were carried out by the Brikama Area Council without the observance of due processes.

Ebrima Sanyang, who has more than a decade and a half of procurement experience and doubles as the director of procurement at Policy and Operations Unit, was testifying before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry, which is currently assessing procurement practice of councils and their levels of compliance.

As the director, he provides specialist advice, guidance and service on leading procurement practice to management all procurement organisations in the country and regularly reviews standard documents to comply with national obligations and commercial laws.

In addition to running the daily management of the policy unit at GPPA, he also supports the implementation of public procurement laws and guidelines.

During Monday’s proceedings, a document that was dated 30 May and identified by the witness as his statement was tendered by the deputy lead counsel and admitted as evidence.

Progressing into the hearing, the witness was referred to the 2019 procurement review of BAC. “We learnt that it is mandatory to send reports to GPPA. Are these reports sent yearly or quarterly, monthly? What is the requirement?” deputy Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez asked, referring to page 26 of the report.

In his response, the witness stated: “According to the Act, procuring organisations are obliged to be reporting on a monthly basis on procurement that has not been subjected to their (GPPA) review.

“I think Mr Tambura must have told us we have different kind of reviews – post and prior. He must have told you the threshold [500,000 or below] and Procurements like single source and request for quotations are in most cases within the threshold. They are done within the procuring organisation without coming to the authority (GPPA).

So the law requires that such procurement that was not subjected to the authority’s prior review approval be sent on a monthly basis.

He admitted that Brikama Area Council has not been acting in line with this provision.

Again, the witness also stated, as contained on page 22, that “Brikama Area Council did not develop specifications in some of the procurement of laptops and desktop computers in contravention to section 25 (1) (2) (3) and (4) of the GPPA Act.”

“Specifications are important because they guide you. They tell you what is exactly needed. Otherwise you may buy things that are not fit for purpose. The specifications will tell you what you want to buy, what it is meant for and the price and so on and so forth,” he told the Commission.

On the implications, the witness agreed with the deputy lead counsel that the value for money may not be attained and the quality could be compromised.

credit to: thepoint.gm

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