“IPRP is underfunded” – Chairman tells budget hearing

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By IPRP Communications Unit

Chairman of the Independent Procurement Review Panel (IPRP) Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, said the IPRP is underfunded. He made this disclosure during a one–day Budget Hearing for the Financial Year 2022 at the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

He said quotas being allocated in the previous years were ridiculous to run the daily operations of the office as compare to the magnitude of work.

This Year allocation was only Five Hundred Million Leones allocated to the Institution, adding that the coming Fiscal Year of 2022 requesting for over a Billion Leones to run the institution and implement plan activities.

The hearing was witnessed by staff of MOF, IPRP, Non State Actors (NSAs), the media and Community Based Organisations (CBOs).

The IPRP is a creation of section 65 (1) of the National Public Procurement Act No. 10 of 2016. The IPRP is charged with the responsibility to review complaints from dissatisfied bidders about decision of procuring entity.

Speaking during the hearing Chairman Abdulai said previous budget allocations of Five Hundred Million Leones to run the daily operations of the secretariat was paltry.

The IPRP Secretariat was located at the National Public Procurement Authority Office at Tower Hill during his predecessors’ era and only one staff was representing the IPRP.

He noted that such an operations undermined the IPRP in executing their duties efficiently, and referenced that one could not be a coach and at the same time referee for a team.

He told budget hearing members that under his administration he had set up the Secretariat on 3A Wellington Street that was up and running with staff being recruited.

‘’ Our major constraint the Secretariat is without a generator in case of any power outage and vehicle for operations’’. He said

He said the role of the IPRP was very vital in the procurement cycle, and that government spends over 70 percent in procuring goods, works and services.

He said the amount requested for was not much and if the said amount being allocated in the next Fiscal Year would enable the secretariat to implement its plan activities.

The chairman said activities for 2022 was to intensify stakeholder sensitization and community outreach especially in the provincial towns as well as Local Councils on core mandate of the IPRP.

Also, to develop policies and other framework for effective and efficient complaints management.

Moreover, to develop a website that would target the general public on awareness raising on activities of the institution.

“IPRP Secretariat is here to restore accountability and transparency in the procurement processes,” he said.

 The Auditor General reports are vivid case study of breach of procurement rules, adding that 70 percent of government resources misappropriated due to flout of the PPA of 2016.

Senior Financial Secretary MOF, Samuel Momoh appealed to the IPRP to roll out activity plan that was not executed, and that challenges highlighted during the presentation would be considered.

Mr. Momoh asked members present at the hearing if the budget proposal presented by the IPRP for the Fiscal Year 2022 be accepted was in the affirmative.

Regional Coordinator Non State Actors Kambia district Foday Dada, appealed to MOF to disburse the said quota requested by the IPRP so that their activities could be roll over to the next Fiscal Year.

 ‘’Such an institution needs to be empower to effectively carryout their core mandate as procurement is becoming a bed rock for corruption in the country’’ he said.