Gambia Public Procurement Authority

9 Kairaba Avenue

P.P.Box  4032,Bakau

The Gambia.

Tel-00220-4378502/3/6   fax:00220-4378501

 

DIRECTOR GENERAL’S STATEMENT

As of 1st July 2003, all procuring organisations are required to comply with the Gambia Public Procurement Act as stated by Honourable Famara Jatta, the then Secretary of State for Finance and Economic Affairs in his Directive of 30 June.  This came about as a result of Government's continuous efforts to improve the way it buys to serve public needs.

In 1998, a Country Procurement Assessment Review was conducted jointly by the Gambia Government and the World Bank. The outcome of this study were recommendations to provide better value for money in the acquisition of goods, works and services and at the same time enhance the development of local enterprises. A Task Force was formed to review how the necessary changes should be made. This review gave birth to the Gambia Public Procurement Act 2001, assented to by the President in February 2002. The Act seeks to provide a system for ensuring: - (a)  transparent, efficient and economic public procurement; (b) accountability in public procurement; (c) a fair opportunity to all prospective suppliers of goods, works and consultancy services; the prevention of fraud, corruption and other malpractices in public procurement; and (d) improvements in social and economic capacity in The Gambia, including providing opportunities for local small enterprises and individuals to participate in an economic manner as suppliers, contractors and subcontractors in public procurement.

To achieve these objectives, the Act brings to an end the current practice of public procurement being carried out by the Major and Minor Tender Boards. In its place is a system of decentralised procurement in which procuring organisations, (i.e. government entities, project implementation units, statutory bodies, Government Agencies, local government authorities, and parastatals) will be responsible for their procurement.  To do this they are required to establish Contract Committees supported by specialised procurement units staffed with individuals trained in public procurement for the conduct of public procurement.  Nevertheless, the head of the procuring organisation remains accountable for the successes and failures of procurement in accordance with the Act.

The Gambia Public Procurement Authority is given broad powers in the Act to assist procuring organisations in carrying out their new responsibilities. In the exercise of its powers, the Authority is to ensure that the rules are complied with by procuring organisations to achieve the objectives of the Act.  In other words the GPPA’s mandate is to help the public get its money’s worth.  My staff of professionals in the fields of law, education and finance will work closely with heads of procuring organisations to make these reforms successful

The Authority, in its bid to achieve the objectives of the Act, has developed new regulations and instructions along with standard bidding documents and forms to help manage the paperwork.  Within the first quarter of every year, the Authority is required to prepare an annual report for the Secretary of State for Finance, which will be laid before the National Assembly, to describe the status of the system and the level of compliance.  The Authority will use its reports to provide information for future comparison of positive and negative trends in accomplishing its goals.  This will include such things as the degree of competition and the amount of money spent and – where they can be identified – associated savings.

The new system provides for the registration and – in some cases – the qualification of bidders, debarment of non-performing bidders and suppliers, contract management, public notice of procurement contract awards, open and restricted tendering, international tendering and controls on single-source procurement.  In addition, a comprehensive review procedure is set out to allow for bidder complaints.