By Donstance Koroma
The recently published 2016 Annual Assessment Report of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) have indicated that Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Councils are notorious for violating section 29 (3) of the NPPA Act of 2004, which provides that “procuring entity shall not divide a procurement order into parts or lower the value of the procurement order to avoid the application of the procedures for public procurement as prescribed in the Act.”
According to the report, 127 institutions procurement activities interventions remain consistently high in all operational procurements through the authority monitoring and evaluation.
The Authority referred to such as a great cause for concern owing to the fact the regulatory framework governing public sector procurement have been in place for more than twelve years.
The report pointed out that it is their expectation that a gradual decline of these issues as the practice has more been ingrained in the country’s institutional fabric and the practitioners become more proficient in practice.
The annual assessment report captures under-reporting of all procurement activities undertaken during the course of the year remains a challenge but hopes to eliminate with the coming of an E-procurement system.
The report added that ten billion Leones was spent on the purchase of fuel.
The report furthered that in 2015, the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) undertook a study of industry and found that there is a significant variance in the cost of airline tickets across the public sector.
The report continued that a sampling of the money spent on twenty- three (23) MDAs on airline tickets for 2013 revealed a total of Le 8,809,905,474.
The assessment report also unveiled that another nineteen entities for 2014, that is, the year of Ebola indicated that a total of Le 6,402,842,857 was spent on travelling despite other factors impacting on the overall cost of tickets such as the wide variance in tickets class, the time of purchase and method of purchase, etc, yet came-out clearly that over charges by travelling agencies for airlines tickets in the public sector stand common.
The report also indicated that vehicle maintenance costs are significantly high as there is no control over the said area as to the basic requirements for using the services of a particular workshop as public sector officials make choice in such area, adding that the cost for both parts as well as labour vary widely with no control mechanism in place whatsoever, stating that the assessment captures money spent to be more than eight Le (8) billion in the area of vehicle maintenance.