September 8, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security last Friday (5 September) conducted an induction training for their staff in new procurement guidelines.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay, said it was timely to train the Procurement Committee at the ministry in critical decision-making at each stage in the procurement cycle. He said the committee could enhance accountability, effectiveness, efficiency and proper fiscal discipline in the entire procurement process.
The enactment of the Public Procurement Act of 2004 and Public Procurement Regulation of 2006 is to ensure the regulation and harmonizing of public procurement processes in the public service to promote economic development, including capacity building in the field of public procurement by ensuring value for money in public expenditures.
He said the training was sensitive and critical to decisions taken during Procurement Committee meetings over expenditure of 80% of public funds, for the procurement of goods, works and services during the implementation of government policies and programmes, and as the highest decision-making body within the procurement framework of the ministry.
Head of Procurement Capacity Building at National Public Procurement Authority, Mohamed Musa, said procurement was political because every government that comes to power uses it to carry out programmes it had promised to the people.
“Professional institutions like the Ministry of Agriculture require professional training so as to avoid problems encountered in procurement, and it must be done in accordance with the law,” he said.
Mr. Musa stated that 80 percent of cases that go to court through the Anti-Corruption Commission are from his department.
He said: “We have a database of how people are complying and how others are not,” he said, adding: “Staff at the ministry should ensure that they follow the rules so that they see themselves contributing to national development.”