By Makutu Manneh
The Local Government Commission of Inquiry (LGCI) has noted on Tuesday that the procurement of Toyota Prado vehicle by the Basse Area Council did not follow due process.
The cost of the vehicle was Eight hundred and Fifty Thousand Dalasi (850,000).
The Commission noted that the forms attached were not completely filled. Samba J.B. Tambura, the Director of Compliance at the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) said filling the forms is essential and mandatory.
“If the declaration is not signed, we highlight it as an anomaly. We did not do that in this case,” Tambura said.
Lead Counsel Yakarr Cox discovered that the declaration form that was attached in the file was not signed by members of the contracts committee of the Basse Area Council. Declaration form is the form that members of the contracts committee sign to indicate that they do not have conflicting interest in the procurement. It was further noticed that the signature of the contracts committee was not enough because the declaration form contained only one name, which was Muhammed Jawneh. Jawneh did not sign the form despite having his name appended on it.
Additionally, the commission found out the CFAO report on the condition of the vehicle was missing in the file because before the purchase of the vehicle, Basse Area Council said the vehicle will be sent to CFAO for checkup to know the status of the vehicle.
The commission realised that the procurement officer opted for restricted tendering method to be used in purchasing the vehicle, but the council used single sourcing.
Despite all these missing information in Basse Area Council’s application, GPPA approved the procurement.
Tambura said the anomalies highlighted were “very obvious” while admitting that the procurement should have been thoroughly reviewed before approval was given.