By Ralph Sesay
The Chief Executive Officer, National Public Procurement Authority, Ibrahim Brima Swarray, has on Monday told the Technical Committee, state and non state actors at the ongoing Budget hearings that his institution needs over nine (9) billion Leones to sustain the current reforms at the Authority.
He catalogued key performance targets of the NPPA for 2020 which ranges from continuing development of the e-procurement systems; developing stakeholder knowledge in procurement processes under the e-procurement platform; increasing the level of compliance of procurement processes from the current 60% to 80%; increasing the visibility of the Authority in the regions, staff training to the continuation of the production of Price Norms, amongst others.
Mr. Swarray indicated that there was need for government to hugely contribute to the process of sustaining the e-procurement process already started with funds from our donors.
He recounted that with the establishment of the E-Procurement Directorate and the provision of equipment, government should come in handily to support the operationalization of the process.
Building on the existing infrastructure as well as the continuous training of staff and other logistics support is very crucial for the general improvement of the process.
The NPPA Chief also highlighted that the establishment of the e-procurement process would also call for a greater sensitization of the MDAs, Business community and members of the general public on the entire process.
He also recounted that the institution is very much poised to increasingly stretch out and project its presence to the other regions with the view to support the massive decentralization process by government.
Mr.Swarray also told the Committee that he is also determined after having saved government with over 70 Million United States dollars to increase the compliance rate in terms of contractual terms between MDAs and Contractors from 50% to 85%, reduced procurement related controversies in procuring entities by doing and end to end review of procurement processes.
The NPPA Chief also used the occasion to showcase his success for 2018 which, according to him, included the annual procurement assessment of 145 procuring entities; development of quarterly price norms to aid procurement processes, refurbishment of NPPA headquarters and mass media campaign on the functions of the NPPA, amongst others.
The NPPA 2020 Budget strategic objectives are anchored on the New Direction’s cardinal principles of governance and Public Sector Reform, Public Financial Management and the streamlining of procurement processes with the view to achieve value for money.
The Ministry of Finance had originally sent a budget ceiling of little over three billion Leones as budget for NPPA for 2020.
A representative of a very credible and renowned non-governmental organization in the country working around transparency and accountability in the management of state resources, has damned the move by the Ministry of Finance to dampen the spirit of the NPPA which, according to him, has done so much in the last one year to win laurels for the country’s Public Financial Management Program to Sierra Leone’s international donors.
He cited the World Bank Mission to the country in July and the US State Department report on six African countries including Sierra Leone with regards the level of transparency and accountability have all applauded the massive reforms at the NPPA.
By Ralph Sesay