For Years Under Review
By Makutu Manneh
The Gambia Public Procurement Authority’s compliance review for the years 2019 and 2020 has found Banjul City Council (BBC) as a non-compliant institution, in terms of procurement.
This and similar disclosures were made yesterday Tuesday, July 18 by the Director of Compliance at GPPA, Samba JB Tambura, at the local Government Commission of Enquiry (LGCI), which is established to carry out a full and impartial investigation into Local Councils and connected matters.
According to the Compliance Director of GPPA, the score sheet recorded for BCC means that they did not perform well and that under the GPPA procurement score sheet, 0-49 percent represents non-compliance, and for the Banjul City Council as per the findings of their compliance report, making them a non-compliant institution for both 2019 and 2020.
Tambura explained to commissioners that the most preferred procurement method is tendering because it allows interested entities to compete. He said another method called single sourcing is lawful, but with conditions to fulfill before being used. He said the threshold for single sourcing is twenty thousand dalasi (D20,000) for goods and services while fifty thousand (D50,000) is the threshold for works. The procurement official said once the amount involved is more than the threshold, the law requires the Area Council to seek approval from GPPA, before starting the procurement. He made it clear that single sourcing is not a preferred procurement method because it discourages competition among interested parties. Another form of procurement as mentioned by Tambura was a request for quotation. He explained that the threshold for a request for quotation is Five Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D500,000), adding that if the amount involved is more than the threshold, the law requires the Council to obtain approval from GPPA for that particular procurement. The GPPA Director of Compliance said BCC has conducted many procurements above the threshold provided within the Regulations, without seeking prior approval from GPPA, which according to him, was wrong. Tambura testified that Banjul City Council mainly engaged in single sourcing and requests for quotations all the time. He added that in 2019, BCC made 266 transactions of Single Sourcing (83.7%), amounting to Three Million Two Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty-Nine Dalasi (D3,256,459). Likewise, he said there were 51 transactions of request for quotation (16%) amounting to Two Million Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty-Six Dalasi (D2,482,526), with only one transaction of restricted tendering (0.3%) amounting to Three Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dalasi (D3,450,000). for 2020. He said, BCC has one transaction of restricted tendering amounting to Ten Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand, Six Hundred Dalasi (D10,851,600) representing 0.3%. Equally, he said the Council made 347 transactions of single sourcing amounting to Nine Million, Four Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-Six Dalasi (D9,455,336), representing 94.3%. The procurement official added that there were 20 transactions of Request for Quotation amounting to Eight Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Four Dalasi (D845,954), representing 5.4%. He said BCC’s total spending in 2019 on contracts for the 318 transactions was Nine Million, One Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Five Dalasi (D9,188,985) and total spending for 2020 for the 368 transactions was Twenty-One Million, One Hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ninety Dalasi (D21,152,890).
Mr. Tambura said BCC’s procurements in 2019 and 2020 using the various procurement methods indicated that the institution’s contracts committee did not approve most of the procurements done through the non-competitive method of single sourcing, and concluded that this was a contravention of Section 49 (C) of the GPPA Act because the contracts committee of the said Council should have discussed the procurement and grant the approval.