Public procurement reforms in sub-Saharan Africa including The Gambia are a relatively new phenomenon, relative to governance and sustainable development. In the Gambia, the Procurement system has undergone significant changes since the early 2000. Under the old public procurement system, both Central and Local Government Authorities’ procurements were required to be made through a centralized system based on a Major and Minor Tender Boards. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) was the host of both the former and the later. Following a Procurement valuation carried out by the World Bank in 1998, and its subsequent report CPIP (2005), led to the passing of the Public Procurement Legislation from Parliament in 2001 February, and subsequently assented to, by the President. This Act became the “2001 Public Procurement Act”. Accordingly, the Act became effective in February 2003; Country Procurement Issue Paper (CPIP) (2005), with its attendant Regulations also became effective in the same year. However, the 2001 Public Procurement Act (PPA) could not stand the test of time as there existed some inherent limitations which inter alia included the conflicting functions. The conflicting functions being:
Which translate to the Authority being a judge and a jury as referenced in the World Bank Report and object and reasons of the 2014 PPA. The 2014 Act also provided for the re-introduction of a Major Tender Board adjudicate on Tenders above GMD 10,000,00, and the introduction of a Complaints Review Board. In 2018, the 2014 Act was amended by repelling the Major Tender Board functions and handing over the responsibilities to the Gambia Public Procurement Authority, as per best standards of international best practices. Furthermore, with the various amendments, all the 2001, 2014 and 2018 PPAs have taken consideration of the four pillars, that a sound procurement system should have i.e. Legal and Regulatory framework, Market Assessment and Performance, Integrity of the Procurement System and Capacity Building.
The Authority has 6 Departments: