13 June 2018

Liberia: PPCC Boss Threatens to Prosecute Govt Officials Who Flout Procurement Law

Monrovia — The Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) has vowed to prosecute any official of government who violates PPCC laws.

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the PPCC, Dorbor Jallah, in an interview with FrontPage Africa said the commission will leave no stone unturned in its function and will turn individuals over to the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) for prosecution.

"We observed that some agencies and ministries continuously violate the law and with that, we will do what the law says, the law says such people should be turned over to the Ministry of Justice and the LACC for prosecution, and that's exactly what we will do," he said.

He promised to take the prosecutorial aspect as the last action, saying, it is better to give early warning to avoid embarrassment.

"That is why I am warning them now to desist and follow the PPCC laws to avoid being turn over to the Ministry of Justice and the LACC, so we want to admonish them and we want to take that prosecution as the last option, But we can work with them by bringing them into compliance where applicable to make the system work," he said.

He revealed details of a pending acquaintance workshop with all government ministries and agencies in the procurement sector to curtail the violation of the PPCC law.

Jallah said when the system is perfectly working in the interest of the public the government's pro-poor agenda will be realized, and Liberia will be better.

He said every government Ministry and Agency must follow the PPCC compliance.

"It is the law, the PFM law of Liberia states that once you are using government money you should follow the PPCC law, I mean all goods or materials that have attachment with government money must follow the PPCC law," he said.

It is widely perceived by several government officials that there' no need to follow the PPCC law during procuring below the amount o US$10,000.

But according to section 24 of the PFM law, all purchase by government should follow the PPCC law.

The PFM Section 24. Contracts and Procurement states:

"All purchases of goods and services from suppliers, including capital investments, shall comply with the provisions prescribed in the Public Procurement and Concessions Act of 200t, as amended, and its enabling regulations.

All contracts including those established through the simplified Local Purchase Order mechanism shall be considered commitments of the government."

The PPCC boss says there are lots of missteps that occur during procurement at various government entities, though he fell short of naming any of the public entities involved.

Jallah, however, warned that the act should stop to safe country of corruption.

He believes that many individuals used the procurement process for their agencies and ministries to corrupt government.

He disclosed that the PPCC is doing all it can to make the system better with its limited staff, adding that it is understaffed.

He said the commission currently has about 50 staffs doing the work of 180 persons with 20 out of that number is working directly as procurement officers.

"We are understaffed and we do not have the resources to maintain the limited staffs we even have, we run out of fuel, calling cards and generator because our budget was cut down, only 15% of US$200,000 of our budget we are operating in and this a problem, we have to work overtime to get things done," he explained.

He said due to the limitation of funds and staffs at the PPCC, the PPCC has trained all the staffs at the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) at the Ministry of Finance in procurement compliance to help the PPCC.

"IAA has close to 1000 staffs so what we thought to do is to lavish the IAA by giving them additional training in the procurement compliance requirement to beef up the strength of the PPCC," he said.

The IAA is responsible to ensure fiscal compliance for transaction process for various government Ministries and Agencies.

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