Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) recently
validated the Vehicle Procurement Study 2011-2015 at a local hotel.
In line with Section 15 (K) of the Competition Act, the Commission undertook a vehicle procurement study in 2017 with the view to understanding vehicle procurement process and identifying anti-competitive practices and consumer rights violation.
The study was motivated by complaints received from some vehicle dealers over the years about the titling of specifications to certain vehicle brands.
The study draft indicated that the 2014 Gambia Public Procurement Agency (GPPA) PAC/PEC report shows that the government spent D1.9 billion on public procurement which represents 8% of the 2014 GDP and a data from GPPA indicates that 7% of the tendered amount (1.95 billion) is for vehicle procurement.
The study also indicates that there were existence of exclusivity agreements between vehicle dealers and suppliers and tailor-made specification. It also found out that 22% of the contracts were through single sourcing whilst open tender (the most competitive as per section 38 of the GPPA) recorded only 3%.
Speaking at the validation workshop, vice chairperson of GCCPC board of commissioners Abdou A.B. Njie said it is important to ensure the best deal is reached at the advantage of competition in the relevant market. “If there is competition, consumer gets better prices, more choice, higher quality and better value for money.”
He said the same applies for procurement but since the government is the consumer, the emphasis is to ensure how best to utilize tax payers money and save public funds. “You do not need to be an economist to know that competition is the key driver of innovation, key driver for a better service and key tool to fight inflation,” he said.
He said government procurement without transparency and genuine exposure to competitions would lead to inefficiency.
“Competition should therefore be the cornerstone of public procurement. A contract awarded without fair and transparent procedure would lead to market dysfunction. Globally public procurement represents 15% of our GDP. It is the backbone not only for a well-functioning government but of a well-functioning economy,” he stated.
The workshop brought together suppliers, central and local government officials and all the relevant stakeholders.