#Article (Archive)

Beef up public procurement competence

Jan 22, 2016, 10:10 AM

The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) has emphasised the need to get procurement officials trained to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct fruitful public procuring exercises.

It is absolutely important to get them adequately trained as these are public trustees of government, who are given the responsibility to use public funds to procure items and services needed by public institutions in the country.

Given appropriate training, procurement officials will be in a better position to make sound decisions and conduct their procuring functions with high degree of competence and professionalism to the benefit of their institutions or organisations, the government and the nation as a whole.

Procurement governance, as stated by the GPPA, is a system governed by accountability, responsiveness, professionalism, transparency, and integrity.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of procuring organisations to uphold the practices, policies and procedures built around procurement governance.

If our procurement officials are adequately capacitated, it will be of great help to the government and people of this country.

The process of acquiringgoods, works,services and consultancyservice by entities, through procurement officials, has to be professionallyhandled toproperlyutilize government’s resources, formaximumbenefitto thenation.Value for money must be realised at all times.

Utilized otherwise in procuring assignments, state resources will be largely misused to the detriment of the nation.

Sothose involved intheprocurementexercisemustbe adequatelycapacitatedto carry out theirfunctionsproperly.

It is, therefore, commendable that the GPPA and the Directorate of Procurement Cadre on Wednesday held a one-day meeting with the support of the EU-funded team, to look at public procurement competence assessment of officials in procuring organisations in The Gambia.

The goal, according to reports, is to develop skills-based training strategy for procurement officials.

This is in the right direction and it should be clear to all - as the director of public procurement at the Finance ministry has said, - that procurement is now a profession that drives all development projects.

Public procurement, therefore, needs to be given due attention with full support from the government and development partners to ensure it serves the nation well, stifles corruption and sustains good governance.

“Practice is the hardest part of learning and training is the essence of transformation .”

Ann Voskamp