By Abdul Fonti
The National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has launched its maiden 1st Quarter Price Norm for 2019.
The launch took place on Friday June 28 2019 at the conference hall of the Ministry of Finance in Freetown.
The Price Norm detailed the prices of various commodities used in the country and serves as a reference document to undertake procurement.
Chief Executive of NPPA, Ibrahim Brima Swarray said the era of corrupt procurement practices as indicated in various past audit reports is over.
He therefore called on procurement officers to ensure they exhibit the highest standard of professionalism and transparency in their dealings.
He urged all stakeholders to ensure they judiciously use the procurement act, manual and regulations accordingly.
He also used the launch as an opportunity to announce that Sierra Leone will join the global trend of electronics procurement by 2020.
“An e-procuremnt directorate is being established following a study tour of Rwanda and Zambia,” he disclosed, adding that high spending institutions like the ministries of health, education and defence would be targeted in the pilot phase.
He further spoke of the establishment of the southern regional office of the NPPA which was launched this week to support the decentralisation drive and work efficiency.
Makeni in the north already has a regional office and Kenema in the east is next on line, he assured.
“Fairness, value for money and transparency are the core essence of procurement,” he pointed out.
Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mathew Dinge pointed out that technical and forensic audits over the years indicate grave anomalies on procurement undertakings in the country.
This affects investors and development partners’ trust, he noted.
“The need to abide by the processes and procedures governing procurement as dictated by various legal instruments cannot be overemphasized,” he asserted, while urging various stakeholders to endeavor to judiciously use the price norm to guide procurement decisions going forward.
He indicated that the NPPA Price Norm is a credible and legal reference document on all procurement undertakings in the country.
Deputy Director of Public Procurement in the Ministry of Finance described the price norm launch as remarkable.
“The core focus of procurement practices is value for money and the new price norm is key to achieving that goal,” he disclosed.
The price norm, he said, supports transparency and accountability.
“Corruption can only thrive in procurement when the process is made a secret,” he noted.
According to him, the price norm gives credibility to the national budget.
He congratulated the NPPA Chief Executive and management for commitment, professionalism and hardwork exhibited over the years.