By Rohey Jadama
Mr. Ebrima Sanyang, the Compliance & Professional Practice Manager of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA), has on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, testified as the sixth prosecution witness (PW6) in the ongoing criminal trial involving Mr. Pa Malick Ceesay, the former Coordinator of National Enterprise Development Institution (NEDI) and erstwhile National Assembly Member for Lower Saloum Constituency, and Mr. Ismaila Njie, former NEDI Accountant.
When the case was called before Justice Eunice Dada of the Banjul High court, Lawyer Baffouh Jeng appeared for the state, while Lawyer A.J. Njie announced his representation for the accused person.
Mr. Sanyang told the court that he lives at Sinchu Baliya and works at GPPA as the Compliance & Professional Practice Manager. He further told the court that the Police headquarters sent a letter to their office with some questions about the Coordinator of NEDI and to which they responded to.
He added that GPPA is mandated to regulate the procurement made by the government but, that depends on certain issues because procurement should be subjected to their approval.
At this stage, a letter that was sent to the police was shown to the witness and he was asked to explain paragraph 1 of the said letter to the court.
Mr. Sanyang said according to their records NEDI was not reviewed in 2009-2011, therefore, he added, they cannot determine whether they were compliant or not. However, the witness noted that they were reviewed in 2012 and they were found to be non-compliant with the GPPA Act.
“We look at certain parameters, structures and there should be a contract committee that should be responsible of making procurement related decisions. Institutions should prepare and submit their procurement plans,” he said.
Mr. Sanyang said according to the GPPA Act anything more than D500, 000 should be subjected to open or restricted tenders. He said NEDI was reviewed in 2012 and their transactions were not sent to GPPA for prior review.
He told the court that their mandate is to review and if they suspect any case of malpractice, they submit it to the Auditors, but he was quick to add that you may be non-compliant but that does not mean that you committed fraud.
At this juncture, the case was adjourned to the following days 6, 8, 9 and 13 June, 2016 respectively, for continuation of hearing.