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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Procurement controversies -- Sierra Leone

“Procurement is one of the key Corruption issues”
The Director of the National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS) Coordinating Unit of the Anti Corruption Commission, Shollay Davies, has said in Freetown that procurement is one of the key corruption issues in not only Sierra Leone but the entire African continent such that it is costing our continent about $150 Billion a year.

The Director made this statement upon his invitation to witness the official launch of a handbook prepared by the National Accountability (NAG) Group and the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) titled 'Procurement Made Simple'

He further disclosed that studies conducted by the World Bank has shown that procurement accounts for about 70-80% of government recurrent expenditure and about 20% of this is misprocurement.

Mr. Davies explained the nitty-gritty of procurement procedures and the pitfalls it has faced prior to the enactment of the Public Procurement Law in 2004. He pointed out that most procurement practitioners and vendors or suppliers had simply considered procurement as buying and selling with little or no procedures to ensure transparency, accountability and competitiveness.

Buttressing the effectiveness of the handbook, the Chief Administrator of Freetown City Council Mr. Boison Philips said “there is widespread ignorance in procurement and governance processes” and added that “the Council remains committed in its performance to good service delivery”. He stressed the Council's wish to ensure the propagation of information imbedded in the drafted manuscript.

In his speech at the launch of the handbook, the Deputy Director, Budget Bureau of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr. Tesima A. Jah considered the launch of the book as one of the major steps in the history and development of public finance management in Sierra Leone. He said that an effective and efficient procurement process leads to value for money which is tantamount to integrity, cost savings, better satisfaction and good financial management practices.

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