directorate of Procurement at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
(MOFEA) through support from United Nation Development Fund commenced a
three-day procurement training yesterday at Paradise Suites Hotel, in Kololi.
The three day procurement training was aimed at highlighting the main elements of the procurement act that all procurement actors should know as well as to strengthen the skills and competence in the developing of the procurement plan; to highlight the creation and role of the board and to make the suppliers as we as the procurement officers to interact for the effective implementation of the procurement.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Omar B. Baldeh, director of Procurement at the Ministry of Finance said when they were developing the 2018 budget, ministries were asked to submit their procurement plans but because the procurement plan may change before the budget, it’s been reviewed and finalized. There is a need to build their capacities so that when the budget estimate is out, each ministry will make their procurement plan.
“It is believed that failure to plan is planning to fail and this year, we don’t want to fail that’s why we have called them on time to prepare them before the budget estimate is finally presented to enable them to get the necessary skills and the competence to be able to able to develop a lot of issues related to procurement.” Therefore he said, when the budget estimate is circulated which is going to be early next year, then everyone will have what it takes to kick off.
Mr. Baldeh noted that the audit report for the most ministries is not pleasant and that about 60% of the audit queries were coming from the procurement related issues as highlighted from the recent internal audit procurement report.
“This training will expose the participants (procurement officers, suppliers and contractors) to The Gambia Public Procurement Act to highlight essential elements of the act that should be known to every procurement officer as well as to look into the issues that took place in the previous years and to look for possible solutions to address those issues” he emphasised.
He stressed that most of the ministries did not do well when it comes to the procurement auditing, adding that to remedy the situation, this year the capacity needs to be built in certain areas in other to be able to increase awareness in the procurement regime which includes the understanding of the rules and regulations of the procurement and also to increase the consultation with the procurement partners.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Tejan Jobe, sectary of Major Tender Board MOFEA, said that an imperative for a successful economy benefiting both the public and the private sector is the efficient management of public finances and good governance for which procurement play a pivotal role.
“Experience suggests that procurement management is one area in our public finance management system that could make or bring down a government” he said.
In most developing countries like The Gambia, Mr. Jobe said that over 60% of government recurrent and development budget is procurement related and that public procurement accounts for up to 70% of imports.
He concluded that a sound public procurement system managed by true and competent professionals is therefore in imperative for a healthy economy and continuing national development.