Wednesday, September 27

BCC failure to heed exposes GPPA’s weakness

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The Commission notes that this particular procurement was approved without evidence. 

The deputy lead counsel, Mr Patrick Gomez, referred the witness, Ebrima Sanyang, director of Procurement Policy and Operations at GPPA, to a letter dated 17th January 2019 from GPPA to the CEO of BCC. 

According to the letter, the GPPA advised the BCC to employ a procurement officer but it was revealed before the Commission that this advice was never put into consideration. 

“Finally, we strongly advised that you employ a procurement officer or clerk as required otherwise you will be violating the laws by conducting a procurement without a procurement officer or clerk,” deputy counsel read out the letter. 

The Counsel thus asked the witness to tell the Commission whether BCC had adhered to GPPA’s advice in making sure that the procurement was conducted with the involvement of a procurement officer. 

In response, the witness stated: “Going by the submissions here, I have not come across any document that shows that a procurement officer was recruited as advised. What we also observed is that even the documents in the file are not in order and it seems as if some documents are missing.” 

Counsel Gomez asked again: “Going by the minutes of the contracts committee, so there was no one from the procurement office at BCC who was present in this meeting? 

Witness Sanyang responded “yes”.

Counsel further asked whether this process was regularised by BCC and the witness said he was not aware of that.  

Counsel Gomez referred him to a letter dated 29th of January 2019 addressed to the CEO of BCC from GPPA, reminding the witness that GPPA had observed that the recruitment of a procurement officer had been implemented. 

However, Sanyang said that the letter means that a procurement officer was employed as advised in GPPA’s previous letter.

Counsel then asked whether GPPA had seen any correspondence from BCC indicating the appointment of any procurement officer for this particular procurement, but the witness responded in the negative. 

“Which means you will not ordinarily be in a position to grant their approval if they had violated the laws,” counsel Gomez put to the witness – which he agreed.