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Public Procurement Transparency Training

Over 20 participants benefited from a one day training on public procurement procedures organized by Movement towards Peace and Development Agency in Sierra Leone (MoPADA-SL) in Bo City, South of Sierra Leone.

The training was geared towards capacity building of targeted participants including university students, contractors, civil society organizations, BO and District council’s procurement officers, journalists among others on public procurement procedures within the councils and other government line ministries in the Bo district and city.

The Public Procurement pilot project came about as a result to improve on access to information, meaning and purpose of public procurement, drawing parallels between its essential elements, and stages with the need and requirement for transparency to attain sustainable development.

An understanding of public procurement, its essence and purpose provide the best justification for public access to procurement information. MoPADA-SL is the lead implementing partner with fund from Action Aid Sierra Leone.

Training Objectives by the Project Officer-MoPADA-SL

  • To build the capacity of participants on public procurement process
  • To empower participants on social transformation through advocacy and lobby to up keep the public procure process
  • To enhance proper monitoring and transparency in the implementation of public procurement policy
  • To emphasis on the importance of public procurement procedures in the area of awarding contracts-goods, works and services
  • Deepening participants understanding on monitoring skills in public procurement

Training Overall Objective

Action Aid Area Development Manager, Bo District, Patrick Moriba said the main aim of the session was to capacitate participants in order to realize full participation of the marginalized communities and/or citizens in the procurement process within public as well as private entities awarding contracts.

Advised all to make frank and valid contributions as the outcome of the training will serve as a guiding tool for network members on how to properly monitor public contracts in the interest of transparency and accountability using public fund or donor

Pointed out that the councils are targeted because of the devolved ministries to ensure check and balances in term of awarding contracts

The forum was an interactive session as all the answers came from the participants. It is important to note that answers were not base on the universal definition of Procurement but Sierra Leoneans common understanding about procurement policy and procedures in general.

This was done in order to create better understanding about how public procurement system works in our country. 

Statements by MoPADA-SLs Executive Director

 MoPADA-SLs Director Patrick Momoh thanked participants for their positive turnout

Cited countries like the US and Kenya that had today developed because of their transparent and actual implementation of public procurement policies in the public sectors particularly in awarding contracts. He encouraged all present to be cooperative in the process of putting public procurement records straight within the private and public sectors as it is everybody’s busy to develop the country.

The Programme Director, MoPADA-SL,  Joseph Davies implored them to start the monitoring at individual institutions/organizations to make those at the top/authorizes to know about the challenges related to public procurement procedures

Their roles and responsibilities is to ensure that the public procurement procedures in awarding contracts is strictly follow at both organizational and public procurement policy of Sierra Leone Davies concluded.

Presentation of Public Procurement procedures including types, characteristics and importance done by Alex Maada Kombeh, Senior Procurement Officer, Bo City Council;

Definitions of Procurement: Public procurement is simply the process by which government acquires goods, works and services required in the course of governance.

To some it is the process of public budget implementation or the acquisition of goods and/or services at the best possible cost of ownership, in the right quantity and quality at the right time, in the right place, for the direct benefit or use of government, corporation or individuals, generally via a contract.

The definitions maybe incomplete, identifies substantive issues that are subject of public procurement.

 Types of procurement:

The two main types of procurement were discussed in brief but plenty examples.

Private Procurement: Transaction using one’s own money to get what the individual want and /or desire to get satisfaction.

Public Procurement: Using public/government fund to buy or provide certain facility (s) or services for the satisfaction of the citizens. Therefore, thus, this type of procurement demand transparency and accountability as government use people’s taxes.

Characteristics of procurement:

  • There may be many characteristics of procurement but the following were what named for the purpose of the training
  • Correct spies; this is where specifications used are correct
  • Timing, Quantity, Quality, Location, Budget, Availability of fund Weather

Why Public Procurement?

Without transparency, it is impossible to achieve accountability. Without equal, fair and simultaneous distribution of information to all prospective bidders, it is difficult, if not impossible to achieve the level of competitiveness required to secure value for money.

Mr Komeh simply put it this way; A public procurement transparency implies not only that the implementing agency should grant requests for information from stakeholders and interested members of the public, but that it should also proactively publish and widely disseminate relevant information to the public, after all it is about expending.

Procurement Act 2004, Procurement Regulations 2006, Procurement Manual 2006 and the National Public Procurement Authority were as well look at in brief.

How Public Procurement works in Sierra Leone?

It works using the decentralization process through the 19 councils.

Training of Pump Maintenance

Movement towards Peace and Development Agency, Sierra Leone (MoPADA-SL) in March 2013 conducted training for community pump attendant in Dodo town, Dodo chiefdom, Kenema district with fund from Water Aid.

The session targeted eighteen community pump caretakers drawn from six villages including: Salinahun, Vaama, Guabu, Kanga, Kordema and Ngandorhun

The main objective of the participatory workshop was to teach participants the basic parts of pump and their functions. Again, they were taught positive hygiene and sanitation practices at both family and community level.

Participants were able to highlight and discussed in detailed the following things to do in order to keep the hand pump water and its environment clean; to fenced around the pump, form WASH committee comprised men and women and  formulate community bye-laws and ensure their enforcement.

Again, participants identified typhoid, dysentery, diarrhea, Cholera as some of the common water-borne diseases that were prevalent in their communities before the WASH project intervention, but they confessed that these diseases have being minimized with the presence of clean and safe drinking water.

Jerome B. Kamara, the Health Inspector, Health Ministry in Kenema facilitated the health education session and helped participants to name the means to protect water in order to be always clean and good for drinking as a way to prevent water related diseases.

The following are those highlighted: boiling of water, store water in a clean container, use clean containers to fetch drinking water, keep water sources safe and clean always.