The Chief Executive Officer of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Dr. Alfred Kandeh has said the lack of effective bench marks in public procurement activities presents major challenges for the transparency and accountability of public procurement officials.
Dr. Kandeh was speaking Thursday October 9, 2008 at a one day forum on effective monitoring of public procurement for sustainable national development held at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building in Freetown.
He says planning acquisition, inviting offers, evaluation, awarding contracts and managing the contract are critical issues that require effective monitoring and bench marks.
“Having an efficient public procurement system brings significant socio-economic developments,” he stated while calling on participants to join the NPPA build clean and transparent procurement procedures.
Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma who served as guest speaker of the occasion, says the forum is organized in fulfillment of the provision of section 14 (2) (0) of the Public Procurement Act 2004.
The Act, he says, mandates the NPPA to conduct a least annually a procurement forum bringing together public and private sectors, civil society and development partners to address issues relating to public procurement.
He says public procurement is the process by which ministries, government agencies and departments acquire goods and services through the utilization of public funds.
“It includes planning the acquisition, inviting offers from the public, evaluating such offers, awarding contracts and monitoring these contracts,” the Minister says, adding that procurement planning allows the budget bureau of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development undertake proper cash flow management and determine fairly accurately the quantum of money required by each procuring entity to support its activities in a given budget period.
“This then gives government the opportunity to properly plan its annual budget taking in to consideration priority areas of development,” he stated.
The event was chaired by Justice Edmond Cowan.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.