By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Audit Office (NAO) has said that 6 contracts totaling seventy-four million, three hundred and thirty-two thousand and five hundred dalasi (D74,332,500) were awarded to suppliers who were not included in the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) approved list.
The audit office also stated that in its report on Government COVID-19 Fund some of the approved contracts are beyond the GPPA ceiling—which means they should be approved by GPPA before awarding the contracts.
“The implication is that value for money might be compromised leading to high procurement cost,” NAO stated.
The audit office recommended that all proposed contracts should be approved by the GPPA, if the amount is one million dalasi or above.
According to the audit office, the management of the Covid-19 fund responded that the observation made by them is well noted. But the management however said the evaluation committee took the decision to relocate to more responsible bidders, who have already delivered within the time frame due to the emergency nature of the situation.
Notwithstanding, the management said the committee took mitigation measures to ensure that the reallocations were not above the approved price, which was done in good faith and were captured in the contracts committee minutes.
“The reallocation was sighted in the minutes but the reallocation contracts were not approved by the GPPA. This is a violation of the GPPA rules and regulations and therefore the integrity of the committee could be compromised. Improper procurement procedures may have been carried out to a waste of government resources,” NAO stated.
The NAO further recommended that the committee should ensure they abide by all rules and regulations, and that in future, they should only award contracts after receiving approval from the GPPA.
The NAO also stated that payment made to unregistered GPPA suppliers will encourage them not to register, resulting in loss of revenue for the government through lost registration fees. It said such businesses may not be paying their respective taxes to the Gambia Revenue Authority to potential loss of revenue.