September 4, 2019
The World Bank Group has hailed the strategic reforms at the National Public Procurement Authority.
The Group made the commendations after successfully completing its ninth implementation support and review mission for the Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation Project.
The mission which was conducted along with the pararell scoping mission for decentralization support and institution was conducted between the 8th and 26th July, 2019 in Freetown.
The World Bank Mission however disclosed that it has upgraded the project ratings for achievement of intended objectives to satisfactory from moderately satisfactory.
“The rating for implementation progress was kept at moderately satisfactory due to delays with ITAS and e-procurement implementation,” the mission report states.
The World Bank Group praised substantial progress in terms of savings generated from public procurement-related reforms amongst others.
The Group notes savings of US$ 7.7 million dollars as a result of the recent improvements to Government of Sierra Leone Public Procurement processes including the introduction of price norms.
The World Bank has also outlined a number of strategic reforms such as the establishment of E-Governance Procurement, computer labs, staff relocation etc.
The Group has also noted high-level buy-in from the Government of Sierra Leone on the E-GP.
They also commended the NPPA for visiting Rwanda on a study tour to understand the workings of the e-GP.
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It will be recalled that the National Public Procurement under the watch of Ibrahim Brima Swarray, has ensured that MDAs and other Government Agencies conduct procurement processes pursuant to the NPPA Act.
The Chief Executive Officer has improved staff capacity and the infrastructure at the NPPA to correspond with the mandate of the Authority as the regulator for all public procurement activities across the country.
Mr.Swarray upon assuming office has introduced end-to-end reviews and guides the development of annual procurement plans by MDAs while also encouraging the increased use of price norms by MDAs with the overall goal to create a uniform pricing in the procurement of goods and services in public procurement.
The strategic reforms have captured the attention of the World Bank as they continuously evaluate government’s public financial management improvement and consolidation Project.
The World Bank Group has endorsed the reforms of the Government of Sierra Leone and its rating from Moderately Satisfactory to Satisfactory has been propelled by the massive reforms at the National Public Procurement Authority.
Government has been lagging behind over the years largely due to the massive corruption that has marred a sector which accounts for over 70% of government’s budgetary support.
In another development, the United States Department has ranked Sierra Leone among six other African Nations for high transparency and accountability in public financial management and the award of procurement contracts in the country.
This report again was possible largely due to the reforms at NPPA which has saved the government millions of dollars while also creating credibility for the public procurement process which was at a nosedive.