Wednesday, October 4

Kerewan Area Council gives the highest number of transactions through non-competitive bidding –

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By Mama A. Touray

So far at the ongoing Local Government Commission of Inquiry (LGCI), Kerewan Area Council has been rated the number one council that had given the highest number of transactions through non-competitive bidding, making the council scoring 56.72%, and it is not the most preferred procurement method.

This was revealed through a joint appearance of the Director of Gambia Public Procurement Authority, Phoday Jaiteh, and the Director of Procurement Policy and Operations before the LGCI held at the Djembe Hotel, Senegambia.

Ebrima Sanyang stated before the Commission that KerewanArea Council recorded one thousand six hundred and forty-eight transactions worth eleven million four hundred and eighty-six dalasi eight bututs in 2019.

“In 2019, there was a total of One Thousand Six Hundred and Forty-Eight transactions amounting to Eleven Million One Hundred and Twenty-Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Eighty-Six Dalasi Eight Bututs, out of which one thousand four hundred and Eighty-Eight (1488) transactions were conducted through single sourcing amounting to Six Million Three Hundred and Twelve thousand Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Dalasi Eight Bututs (D6, 312,258.08),” Sanyang testified. 

Also, there were One Hundred and Sixty (160) transactions conducted through Request for Quotation amounting to Four Million Eight Hundred and Seventeen Two Hundred and Twenty-Five Dalasi (D4, 817,225).

He added that the reviewers from GPPA observed that KerewanArea Council gave the highest number of transactions (56.72%) through non-competitive bidding, which was not the most preferred procurement method.

Deputy Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez pointed out to the two witnesses that despite having 1488 transactions of single sourcing, the report only captured one transaction in their specific finding. Counsel Gomez said that was not what was expected from them. He further pointed out that the report only captured three (3) transactions for a request for quotation out of 160 transactions. 

“Does that represent a fair representation of the transactions?” Gomez asked. 

Responding to deputy lead Counsel, Director Jaiteh said “No Counsel, It is not acceptable”.

Testifying on what the review team recovered, Sanyang said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kerewan Area Council did not monitor the entire procurement process as required by law and that the CEO also failed to formalize the Contracts Committee.

According to his testimony, another violation the review team discovered was that the procurement unit of the Kerewan Area Council was under the supervision of the Director of Finance instead of the CEO. And the procurement unit did ensure the filing of all documentation for procurement transactions. 

He further testified that the Evaluation Committee was not established by the Kerewan Area Council to carry out its functions as required by law.   

Kerewan Area Council failed to establish a Receipt and Examination Committee to perform its functions as required by law, he added.

The law, he said, requires that procurement transactions should have specifications to ensure that award decisions are based on merit but The Kerewan Area Council failed to adhere to this rule.

“There were no specifications attached for the procurements. The Kerewan Area Council did not have standard contract documents and they were trading with suppliers that were not registered with the GPPA. It is a requirement of the law that suppliers must register with the GPPA as a condition for eligibility for receiving contracts from area councils” he told the commission. 

Sanyang informed the commission that the Kerewan Area Council violated the law by awarding contracts to suppliers that did not register with the GPPA. On record keeping, he said GPPA discovered that some documents like GPPA Form 101, 102, and evaluation reports were missing.

The review team from GPPA reviewed documents such as the Procurement plans, Purchase requisitions, Requests for quotations, Evaluation reports, Contract agreements, and Mandatory reports to the Authority.