October 31, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Stakeholders in the procurement landscape in Sierra Leone yesterday converged at Catco International Complex in Freetown to discuss in detail the draft Public Procurement Curriculum.
Representatives from tertiary institutions engage in the teaching of procurement, private sector and procurement officers provide inputs into the draft document by proffering suggestions on how it should look like during the consultative forum.
According to NPPA’s Director of Administration and Human Resource, Sylvester Hinga Demby, the development of a curriculum, which can be used by all tertiary institutions supervised by the authority, is one way of achieving professionalism in the field of public procurement.
“The reason for our presence here today has it mandate from 14, 2 (c) of the Public Procurement Act of 2016 which required us to ensure capacity building and human resource development for public procurement including development, promoting and supporting training and professional development of persons engaged in public procurement,” he said.
He said the document seeks to address the project development objective of strengthening financial control in government, improve accountability systems and practices and enhance independent and public oversight in the management and use of public finances in the country.
Demby expressed hope that at the end of the consultative workshop, participants would be able to have a document that meet international standards as well as be in line with legal framework so that public universities, colleges, private sector and state-owned enterprises will benefit from it.
Being aware of the fact that public procurement constitutes the largest domestic market in Sierra Leone, the Director of Administration and Human Resource said they are aiming to upgrade the capacity of not only their staff members but that of public procurement practitioners, engaged in the procurement system of the country.
Also speaking, Director of Procurement in the Ministry of Finance, Mohamed Musa, expressed his delight at the drafting of the curriculum as the journey started from an outcome of a monitoring exercise carried out some years ago to address the issue of compliance and the capacity of the procurement landscape.
He stated that during the exercise, it came out clearly that there were variations in terms of the quality of trainings that were offered across institutions in the country.
“The issue of procurement is a moving target business. Before now, we were thinking of procurement only but what is evolving gradually is that many countries are moving from barely procurement into supply chain management in the public sector,” he said.
Representing civil society, William Sao Lamin from Accountability Now, acknowledge the great strides the current NPPA management has made in bringing sanity into procurement processes.
He said the only saving grace the country has presently is NPPA, adding that bulk of the national budget on yearly basis goes to procurement issues.
NPPA Board Chairman, Alfred H. Kandeh, challenge procurement officers to make institutions even better and sustainable by following procurement procedures.