Mar 23, 2015, 10:49 AM
(Wednesday July 20, 2016 Issue)
Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), in partnership with the Gambia
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the European Union funded project,
yesterday organised a daylong private sector interactive forum for small and
medium-scale enterprises at the GCCI head office in Kerr Sering.
Speaking to reporters at the forum, Lalo Danso, Director of Procurement Policy and Operations at GPPA, said the private sector forum was held to interact with the GPPA officials and EU technical experts on important issues regarding the GPPA’s new Act and regulations.
He said the forum targets mainly the small and medium-size enterprises with the aim to build their capacity, through such interactive forums.
In doing so, Mr Danso further said, they would be able to know their problems, challenges and explain the provisions of the GPPA Act.
He said now the GPPA has the new Procurement Act which came into force in January 2015, and would want to ensure that what the entire Act provides, in terms of institutional frameworks, are in place.
He said it was also part of their agenda to inform the participants about the functions of the GPPA, and how could they relate with them on procurement issues.
Mr Danso also spoke about tendering and how SMEs could participate in it, vis-à-vis their obligations and rights in participating in the process.
He also outlined challenges faced during public procurement procedures, which is more of capacity building hence need awareness creation.
This, he noted, has been a challenge affecting especially members of the private sector and other stakeholders.
According to him, the procurement function could not be carried out effectively without the collaboration of the stakeholders, therefore, the participation of all and sundry is of paramount importance.
“I encourage especially the small and medium-size enterprises to show more commitment in this type of interactive forum that will enhance their capacity in procurement issues,” he said.
Tijan Jobe, executive secretary, Major Tender Board under the Ministry of Finance, in his remarks, said the forum served as an opportunity to interact with the GPPA officials, the EU long-term technical assistant and members of the private sector to discuss more about the public procurement procedures in the government system.
Alieu Dibba, Chief Executive Officer Jama Construction Enterprise, harped on the importance attached to the forum, saying it was geared towards creating more awareness on public procurement and requirement.
He said the forum helped participants to better understand the GPPA Act and their role and responsibility as private sector enterprises.
Beatrice A. Mboge, Director of Corporate Services at GCCI, encouraged the participants to take the forum seriously, as it would yield dividends at the end of the day, and also urged them to filter the information down to others in their offices.
Olivier Barnouin, team leader, Support to the Implementation of PFM Reforms in the area of Public Procurement System under the European Union long-term project, also spoke on the relevance of the forum.