Thursday, September 21

LGCI probes BAC procurement activities  

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The Commission began the session with Basse Area Council’s bid to procure a used Toyota Prado for D850,000.

Regarding this matter, the Commission observed that the declaration form was attached in the file, but it was not signed by the members of the contracts committee of the Basse Area Council.

“A declaration form is a key component of any procurement process. An essential part of the Conflict of Interest declaration process is each individual member of the contracts committee assessment of whether they have a conflict of interest or not – that is what happens prior to submitting the declaration.”

Testifying for the Commission, Samba J.B. Tambura, GPPA’s director of Compliance, noted that the declaration form is a necessary form and it should be signed. He explained that the people who discuss the procurement are expected to sign the document to indicate that there is no conflict of interest.

In this case (Basse Area Council) the declaration form in the file contains only one name – Muhammed Jawneh, but he did not sign.

The Commission thus noted that the signature of the contracts committee was not sufficient as only two out of the three mandatory signatories signed the document. 

“If the declaration is not signed, we highlight it as an anomaly. We did not do that in this case,” Tambura said.

The Commission also noted that essential areas in the forms attached were not filled as well. 

“They are essential and it is mandatory to fill them,” Tambura said.

The Contracts Committee of the Basse Area Council agreed to use single sourcing. 

However, Tambura said Form 003 is for single sourcing, but the Basse Area Council used the wrong form.

According to the witness, the procurement officer opted for restricted tendering and advised the council to use that method, but the Basse Area Council went for single sourcing. He had agreed with the procurement officer that the best method was restricted tendering.

The Commission was told that GPPA wrote to the Basse Area Council approving the procurement of the used vehicle.

“The abnormalities highlighted are very obvious,” Tambura said, while admitting that the procurement should have been thoroughly reviewed before approval is given.

One of the key documents missing in the file was the CFAO report. Before the purchase of the vehicle, the Basse Area Council indicated that the vehicle will be sent to CFAO for checkup with a view to knowing the status of the vehicle, the witness said.