AG to undertake ‘Value for money audit’
…report recommends that Public Procurement Commission be established
The Auditor General will be doing a ‘Value for money audit’ of the National Procurement Board.
But even as this is being anticipated, the 2007 report recommends that every effort be made to have the Public Procurement Commission established.
The AG report said that this should be in place to ensure the independent, impartial and fair discharge of functions in relation to procurement and the benefit to the Board of persons with expertise in procurement, legal, financial and administrative matters.
It was only on Friday last that President Bharrat Jagdeo was questioned about when the administration was going to submit its nominees for this commission and his response was ‘soon.’
The Head of State admitted that the usual ‘toing and froing’ between the government and the People’s National Congress Reform is what led to the delay in the resubmission of the administration’s nominees for the Commission.
A source close to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) told Kaieteur News on Monday that the general functioning of the National Procurement Board cannot operate in a smooth manner because the commission has not been established. This is causing problems.
According to the Act, the National Board shall have responsibility for exercising jurisdiction over tenders as prescribed in the Regulations and the maintenance of an efficient record keeping and quality assurance systems.
The Constitution provides for the establishment of a Public Procurement Commission to monitor public procurement and procedures in order to ensure that the procurement process is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
In the absence of a Public Procurement Commission, the Auditor General report noted that the Board will also have responsibility for the making of regulations governing the procurement of goods and services, determining the forms of documents for procurement, reporting annually to the Minister of Finance on the effectiveness of the procurement process, organising training seminars regarding procurement, and adjudicating debarment proceedings.
The 2007 Auditor General Report states that the administrations response to this issue was as a consequence of the Commission not being established and in accordance with the Act, the National Board has taken the responsibility for the making of regulations governing the procurement of goods and services.
The Board has also taken responsibility to determining the forms and documents for procurement and reporting to the Minister of Finance on the effectiveness of the procurement system.
According to the report, the Minister of Finance appointed the members of the National Board in November 2004.
The Act states that the Board shall comprise seven members, not more than five from the Public Service and not more than three from the Private Sector.
Just under a week ago, Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Volda Lawrence, told another section of the media that the delay in submission of the names is holding up the debilitation to commence.
The members of this constitutional commission were supposed to be completed since last July.
Lawrence had said that the PNCR and the Alliance for Change have already submitted their nominees to the body.