“When procurement process is compromised, it affects the growth and socioeconomic wellbeing of the nation.” The Regional Manager, South, National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Saidiatu Sesay made this statement at a customized meeting organized by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Southern Region Office on 21st September, 2022, at the NPPA’s Conference Hall, in Bo City.
Mrs. Sesay said the NPPA is the regulatory agency mandated to monitor and regulate procurement processes in Sierra Leone and ensure full compliance with the relevant legislations. She commended ACC’s public education drive, which seeks to provide a platform for frank conversation on integrity and accountability issues.
In his statement, the ACC Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar, acknowledged the challenges NPPA is confronted with in enforcing compliance with procurement regulation, noting that justice should be served to defaulters. He said that until State institutions start to treat procurement issues with utmost seriousness, public revenue would continue to be misused.
Mr. Sittar said that a country’s development trajectory would be in ruins if its procurement processes are marred by dishonesty. “Every single effort or process counts, that is why it is always important to always do the right thing even when no one is watching,” he said.
Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, said even though procurement is susceptible to corruption, employees of NPPA must not trade their integrity. He called on them to embody ethical practices that would continue to save the country from revenue that would have been diverted for personal benefit.
Mr. Saccoh said accepting gifts from suppliers, sharing confidential information, compromising conflict of interest rules, conferring undue advantage on a contractor or supplier, are practices which undermine procurement processes and trigger ACC’s investigation. He called on NPPA to adopt best practices that are cost effective, strengthen enforcement mechanisms, ensure transparency in procurement and multi-stakeholder participation, promote anti-corruption safeguards, report breach of procurement regulation to the appropriate authority and enforce the asset declaration regime.
ACC’s Public Education Officer, Mohamed A. Kabba, said the engagement is a testament of the Commission’s determination to use diverse strategies to promote professional work ethics and anti-corruption measures in order to address corruption vulnerabilities. He assured the participants of informant’s protection and encouraged them to resist, reject and report corruption wherever it takes place.The engagement ended with an interactive question-and-answer session.