Speaker Tyler Calls for Robust Efforts In Public Procurement

House Speaker Alex Tyler
House Speaker Alex Tyler
Photo Credit: PPCC

The Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), with funding from the World Bank, convened a three-day procurement training workshop at the Monrovia City Hall to enhance the capacity of private sector businesses in the preparation of responsive bids, so as to increase the level of competition, when participating in the Government of Liberia procurement process. The workshop was held at the Monrovia City Hall, from June 25-27, 2013, under the theme, “Enhancing the role of the Private Sector in promoting the economic development of Liberia through fostering competition in the Public Procurement Process.”  

Several high profile officials of the Government of Liberia including House Speaker Alex Tyler and representatives of international partner institutions attended the opening session of the workshop and delivered statements.

In his remarks delivered at the occasion, Speaker Tyler lauded the PPCC for the able manner it has managed and implemented the procurement reform program of Liberia. He however called for a more robust effort that would address some of the backlogs in public procurement, and the often disrespect for established rules governing public procurement practices in Liberia.

Additionally, Mr. Winter Chinamale, World Bank Procurement Specialist, who spoke on behalf of the World Bank Country Manager, Mrs. Inguna Dobraja, challenged private sector businesses to rise to the accession and take advantage of the available procurement training opportunities to enhance the growth of their businesses. He thanked the participants for the impressive attendance and seriousness they attached to the workshop.

The workshop was facilitated by three procurement specialists funded by the World Bank, and PPCC Director of the Complaints, Appeals & Review. A presentation was also delivered to educate private sector businesses on World Bank procurement procedures and rules. Highlights of the presentations are captured below.

Procurement of Goods

This session of the workshop was facilitated by Mr. Ivan O. Ofei, Procurement Specialist for the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project(IPFMRP). Mr. Ofei provided tips on what to look for or pay attention to in the Bidding Document or Request for Quotation, and how to make a responsive bid. The presenter also made reference to common mistakes that are usually made by bidders when bidding for contracts. Mr. Ofei identified the mistakes as not properly completing the Bid Form, not signing the bid form or being signed by someone not authorized, not submitting Bid security when required, unacceptable wording of the Bid security, amount of Bid Security not adequate, not including specifications of the goods you are offering, offering goods whose specifications do not meet the minimum requirements, among others.

Procurement of Works

Mrs. Paschalina Mashingaidze, International Procurement Specialist working for the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), facilitated the session on Procurement of Works. Mrs. Mashingaidze brought the participants attention to the following: The salient features of Works Procurement, understanding the Standard Bid Document, Planning Requirements, Preparing a responsive bid, avoiding common pitfalls.

On the issue of understanding the Standard Bid Document (SBD), Mrs. Mashingaidze drew the participants attention to the content and structure of the SBD for Works Procurement, which include:  Invitation for Bids, Instructions to Bidders, Bidding Data Sheet, General Conditions of Contract, Particular Conditions of Contract, Technical specifications, Bills Of Quantities, Contract Forms : Form Of  Agreement,  Performance Security, and Advance Payment, Drawings, Explanatory Notes, Post Qualification, Dispute Settlement procedures, and Eligible countries.

Procurement of Services

Mr. Fuseini Ahmed Abu, International Procurement Specialist, delivered presentation on the procurement of services session of the workshop. He named Consulting Services and Non-Consulting Services as the types of services under procurement of services. Within the context of Consulting Services, Mr. Abu named intellectual and advisory services, for example: policy advice; management; engineering services; construction supervision; audit, and financial services. In the context of Non-Consulting Services, he mentioned measurable physical output, for example: drilling, aerial photography, satellite imagery, GIS mapping, cleaning, security, Internet, Logistics, etc.

Reference to the methods for selection of consultants, Mr. Abu identified and discussed the following: Methods in the PPC Act, Quality and Cost-based selection, Quality-Based Selection, Single Source Selection, Least Cost Selection, Fixed Budget Selection, Consultant’s Qualification, and Individual Consultant’s Selection.    

World Bank Procurement

Mr. Winter Chinamale, Procurement Specialist assigned at the World Bank office in Liberia, delivered presentation on the World Bank Procurement and discussed the following: Guiding principles, Conflict of Interest, Fraud and Corruption, Capacity Enhancement at Bidding Stage, and Sanction Policies.

Mr. Chinamale highlighted the following considerations that generally guide the Bank’s policy on procurement: the need for high quality services, the need for economy and efficiency in the implementation of the project, including the procurement of the goods, works, and services involved; the Bank’s interest in giving all eligible bidders from developed and developing countries the same information and equal opportunity to compete in providing goods, works, and services financed by the Bank; the Bank’s interest in encouraging the development of domestic contracting and manufacturing industries in the Borrowing country; and the importance of transparency in the procurement process.

Complaints, Appeals & Review Process                    

During this session, the participants were made to understand the Dos and Don’ts in public procurement and the application of the sanction regime. The participants were exposed to the complaint process and the rights of private sector businesses to complain about any unjust treatment they may have suffered in a bidding process. Participants were also told about the rights of Procuring Entities to complain and request initiation of debarment proceedings against private sector businesses that violate the PPC Act.

Cllr. Tulay named the following as acts that could lead to possible debarment of private sector businesses from the procurement process: provision of material false information supplied in bids; collusion between a bidder and another bidder, or a bidder and a public officer; connivance to interfere with the participation of competing bidders; non-performance of contractual obligations; conviction of a criminal offence relating to obtaining contract; and non-settlement of tax obligations after assessment.