According to the Chief Executive Officer of NPPA, Ibrahim Brima Swarray, the training sessions target beneficiaries in all the regions of the country starting with those in Freetown. He informed this press that the training started on Monday 29th July 2019 and will subsequently be cascaded to the provinces.
CEO Swarray underscored that the NPPA does not only play its traditional role of regulating procurement processes but also serves as Adviser to Government in providing guidance as to whether or not certain procurement plans or requests be endorsed, or not.
“This is very strategic because it is assumed that 70% of government revenue generated from taxes and donor support are primarily spent on procurement of goods, services and works.
He added that it therefore makes sense that the government should be properly informed before action is taken in order to get value for money.
He maintained that for effective advice to transpire there must be dependable and reliable data which is why they decided to embark on getting reliable statistical data on procurement.
He noted that through data that is meticulously collected they could be able to determine the top 10 public institutions, contractors, suppliers that have done exceptionally well in terms of procurement within a specified period of time as well as those items that government spends the highest amounts of money on.
He added that in the past government used to spend up 6 to 7 million Leones only on papers, billions of Leones to purchase computers which, according to him, should not be the case.
Making reference to himself, he said, he is currently using the computer that his predecessor was using highlighting that as long as a gadget is working there is no reason for it be changed for a new one on quarterly basis and termed such action or decision as wastage.
The NPPA boss maintained that if we want to see more of Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) then it is necessary for data to be uploaded regularly which will give indications of the country’s budget and other relevant information as it will create the pathway for more investors to flow in.
The Director of Capacity Building at NPPA, Mr. Allieu M. Moigboi, intimated that procurement reporting through Standard Procurement Forms (SPFs) is a must for all procurement practitioners. “Recent monitoring proved that a good number of procurement officers are not grounded in the applicability of and utilization of the SPFs,” he revealed, adding that to achieve EU benchmark indicators the Authority, in collaboration with the Procurement Directorate in the Ministry of Finance, thought it fit to organize a series of training sessions for procurement practitioners in the various MDAs and local councils on procurement planning and other related issues.
Dilating on the rationale of the training session, Mr. Moigboi said the Authority would want to ensure that the expenditures on the procurement of goods, works and services by governing entities are properly planned and implemented.
“Besides, the government would want to know the total procurement expenditure on the various categories of procurement annually including the methods of procurement,” he posited.
The Director of Capacity Building further stated that they are training 2 participants from 125 institutions in Freetown totaling 250 beneficiaries. The training in Freetown ended on Friday 2nd August, 2019.
The next points for the training sessions will be Bo, followed by Makeni and Kenema where they will target all local councils and MDAs. He said the facilitators of the training sessions are from NPPA and the Ministry of Finance.
Throwing light on the difference between Procurement Officers and Procurement Committees, he said the former deals with technical evaluation and the latter either accepts or disapproves requests or recommendations forwarded by the former.
Sounding the views of some Heads of MDAs and Local Councils they expressed appreciation for the good initiative taken by NPPA maintaining that it is a step in the right direction.
Lamin Bangura a Procurement Officer at the Sierra Leone Library Board expressed thanks to the NPPA, stating that this is the most advanced training he has undertaken.
Mr. Labour, Procurement Officer from Sierra Leone Safety Authority (SLSRA) revealed that the training has exposed him to new procurement software that will help him on daily procurement activities.