We’ll ensure due diligence on procurement issues – NPPA chief executive


September 27, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

NPPA Chief Executive Ibrahim Brima Swaray

Chief Executive Officer of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has assured of their readiness and determination to ensure due diligence is followed to the letter in procurement.

“I have not given waiver to anybody since I assumed office.
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I believe the essence of procurement is to allow competition and we need it to hold now than ever before if we want transparency and accountability. It is a big challenge for us but we will achieve success. We are robust in our work,” Ibrahim Brima Swaray said.

He was speaking at the ongoing budget hearing at Bank of Sierra Leone Complex in Freetown, where his institution presented their 2019 budget, strategic plan and what they were able to achieve in the year under review.

According to him, the reason why the Auditor-General’s report always focuses around procurement issues was that procurement officers were not doing their job properly.

To ensure due diligence on procurement, Swaray said they have designed a checklist as well as reviewed all tender documents before any procurement activity is published.

He informed the technical committee and stakeholders that since they started reviewing tender documents, no ministry, department or agency has sent a document that is correct, adding that there were some with serious mistakes.

“We have realised that procurement officers and committees change the rules in the middle of the game and so we are encouraging them to play by the rules. If you do the wrong thing, be rest assured that we will deny you,” he warned.

With regards personnel, the NPPA boss stated that they are hugely understaffed, adding that for them to get to speed in related areas they have had to outsource people to help them do the job properly and efficiently.

“If government wants to see us matching our expectations, they need to allow us to recruit major staff. If we are to do our job properly, then we would need not less than 60 to 70 staff to run the day-to-day affairs of the institution,” he noted.

Even with the current staff they have now, the NPPA Chief Executive emphasised the need for more training to match them up to speed, while calling for timely allocation of funds from the finance ministry.

NPPA Board Chairman, Alfred H. Kandeh, said procurement is the expenditure control wing of the Ministry of Finance, and according to him, it doesn’t matter how many billions of Leones is remitted to MDAs, if there was lack of proper control all the monies would go down the drains.

At the end of the hearing, the NPPA’s 2019 budget of Le4.2 billion was approved by the technical committee and representatives from non-state actors and district budget committees.