The Chief Executive and Management of the National Public Procurement Authority on Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 held a thank you meeting with members of the Fourth Estate at the Authority’s Headquarters at Tower Hill, Freetown.
The purpose of the meeting was to thank the Fourth Estate for helping the Authority in carrying out its mandate in regulating public sector procurement.
In welcoming the media (Print and Electronic), to the ‘thank you meeting’, the Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive, Sylvester Allieu acknowledged the steadfast role of the media in propagating the work of the NPPA and stated that since the Chief Executive assumed office, it has been a tradition for him to always express appreciation to the media at the end of the year for its support to the Authority.
In thanking the media, the Chief Executive, Mr. Ibrahim Brima Swarray said when he assumed office as Chief Executive with procurement being a new phenomenon coupled with the huge awareness gap, most people thought his role was to buy on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone; but with the help of the media, that perception has changed. He disclosed that plans are underway to organize training in public procurement for the media come 2021.
Cataloguing the achievements of the Authority in 2020, the Chief Executive mentioned the public lecture he delivered on Electronic Government Procurement (EGP) to students of IPAM and the just concluded e-GP stakeholders functional review held in Bo as a roadmap for the implementation of the e-GP in Sierra Leone with support from the World Bank. Among the other key achievements of the Authority in 2020 mentioned by the Chief Executive were the quarterly publication of the Price Norms, promulgation of the Public Procurement Regulations, 2020, Public Procurement Manual, publication of the quarterly Public Procurement Bulletin that contains procurement savings, publication of the first ever Public Procurement Assessment Report for 2018, preventing procuring entities from entering into bad contract leading to a procurement savings of over Le. 100 Billion Leones, increasing staff strength of the Authority from 37 staff to over a 100 staff, securing an office space in Kenema and the development of a Code of Conducts for procurement practitioners, etc.
Whilst intimating that the Public Procurement Assessment Report for 2019 will be out in the New Year, the Chief Executive encouraged the media to be discussing such an important report and not to ignore it as it was in the case of the 2018 Procurement Report. The Chief Executive underscored the importance of the regulatory authority in preventing corruption and wastages as one of the campaign promises of His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio in 2018.
He concluded by imploring the media to au fiat itself with procurement issues.
Whilst soliciting questions from the media, the Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive, encouraged the media to develop special interest in public procurement as it is the case with audit and corruption related issues. He re-echoed the point earlier made by the Chief Executive about the importance of the regulating agency in preventing wastages in the public sector.
The meeting was climaxed by questions, comments from the media and answers by the Chief Executive.
In giving the vote of thanks, the Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs, Barrister Francis M. Gbaya thanked the media for using its channels to promote the work of the Authority particularly through the ‘NPPA Hour’. He said the development of every nation depends on the mobilization of revenue and the management of the resources and that the NPPA as a preventive arm in the fight against corruption is crucial in ensuring that resources or public funds are judiciously managed through its regulatory functions.
He urged the media to visit the Authority’s website on www.nppa.gov.sl for relevant publications and information and to be discussing and debating publications of the Authority as it is done with the Audit and other Reports.