GPPA trains 35 procurement officers

By Sailu Bah

The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) has concluded the training of 35 procurement officers on the new procurement methods and Revised Procurement Act 2014 at the Ocean Bay Hotel at Cape Point in Bakau on Thursday, 29 January 2015.

The training which was funded by the European Union involved procurement officers from government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals.

Mr. Lalo Danso, Senior Manager on Career Development and Training, said they have been doing a series of training during last year and that this is the first in 2015.

He said the main purpose of the training is to enable the participants to be aware of the legal and regulatory frameworks that have been made.

“We hope that after the training, participants will be able to understand the legal requirements that are needed in the conduct of procurement to be in compliance of the provisions of the GPPA 2014 Act,” he concluded.

Mr. E. John Blunt, the EU Procurement Specialist, said this is the fifth training workshop organised by GPPA in recent months and which brought the total number of Government officers trained to over 250.

He said the workshop is delivered by GPPA specialist procurement officers and is being supported by the EU funded Short Term Technical Assistance Consultants which he headed.

Mr. Blunt said the EU funded consultants are supporting the implementation of the reform of the procurement regulatory framework and improving the procurement management capacity as well as improving the GPPA Information systems for procurement in line with the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS).

“The EU and GPPA are also very pleased to announce that the EU is funding a team of Long Term Technical Assistance Consultants led by Mr. Olivier Barnouin and supported by Mr. John Auma who will continue the reforms designed and already underway.  While much reform has started, further reform is required especially in reinforcing key procurement structures, delivering further training and increasing procurement oversight,” said the EU Specialist.

He also noted that the GPPA is responsible for the regulation and monitoring of public procurement in the Gambia, monitoring performance of procuring organizations to ascertain efficiency and compliance with applicable legislation, regulations and instructions, and providing annually to the Minister of Finance a quantitative and qualitative assessment of procurement activities in the country.

Mr. Blunt said GPPA can refer to the Auditor General any violations, adding that the  GPPA has recently appeared before the National Assembly PAC/PEC where its 2013 Activity Report was unanimously accepted.

‘’A specific focus of this Workshop is consideration of achieving ‘Value for Money’.  Value for money does not necessarily mean the lowest price.  It is a product of Quality, Time and Cost and there are clear trade-offs between the three. For example, a higher quality outcome may involve a longer delivery timeframe or higher cost, while implementing a project in a shorter time period may involve either lower quality or a higher cost, or both. In assessing value for money each component must be assigned a measure of relative importance,’’ said Mr. Blunt.