PPCC Announces Transformational Procurement Regime -E-Governance Procurement System Kicks off July

MONROVIA: The Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) has announced that it is getting close to concluding the development of a robust Electronic Governance Procurement (GP) system which will automate most of the manual procurement processes that are inherent with individual discretion said to be the greatest vulnerabilities and highest risks in public procurement.

The announcement of the upgrade of the current system was made yesterday, Tuesday, April 2, 2024 by the Executive Director of the PPCC, Mr. Bodger Scott Johnson during the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing.

Mr. Johnson said an international software developer, European Dynamics, was contracted to develop the e-GP system on a Software-As-A-Service (SAAS).

He said the system will allow for online submission and approval of major procurement documentation and enhance the bidding process through the online submission of bid documents.

“It will have linkages with other online platforms, including the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), revenue portal of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberia Business Registry (LBR), NASSCORP and the banking sector”, he said.

The Executive Director who stated that the e-GP system is expected to go live in July 2024 also said it will initially be piloted to six ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) and subsequently be rolled-out to other entities of the Liberian Government.

“The World Bank is funding the initiative, which basically seeks to procure, install and deploy the e-procurement application to all institutions of the Government of Liberia, with the objective of increasing effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and integrity in public procurement,” he said.

Speaking further about the activities of the PPCC, Johnson said the institution is currently working with international development partners and different stakeholder group to revise the Public Procurement and Concessions Act of 2010. He said a group of Liberian lawyers and subject matter technicians from the PPCC were given the responsibilities to review the current law and propose amendment to address the new innovations in public procurement, which include sustainable public procurement, e-GP and gender procurement.

“The law has been drafted and is undergoing stakeholder’s validation. This is intended to do stock-taking of the stakeholders experiences with the PPCA’s implementation and make recommendations for further actions and improvements, prior to the submission of the draft PPC Act to the National Legislature for passage into law,” he noted.

According to him, the first phase of the validation session was simultaneously held in Ganta, Nimba County and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County during the month of September 2023 while the second phase of the exercise will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, 2024 beginning at 8:30am in the Lutheran Compound on 14th Street, Sinkor.

Invitations have been extended to the heads of procurement committees and procurement directors of ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs), state owned enterprises (SOE), local officials from Bomi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties, private sector and civil society groups.

Speaking further on the activities of the entity, Johnson said PPCC is currently involved with the implementation of number activities aimed at educating the public and various stakeholders about the PPCA and added that there is a planned massive public procurement awareness to be carried out in the communities, universities, intellectual centers and leeward counties, to showcase the work of the PPCC and inform the general public through radio talk shows, drama, jingles and town-hall engagements to sensitize the public about the workings of the PPCC and implementation of the Public Procurement and Commission Act of Liberia. He said the UNDP is one of the support arms of the engagements.

While highlighting the successes of the institution, the Executive Director also said the institution continues to be challenged some issues among them being limited budget to effectively and efficiently regulate and monitor public procurement compliance nationwide and replacement or movement of trained procurement staff by procuring entities, “in most instances, the trained ones either seek employment opportunities elsewhere as they are more often replaced by untrained ones, resulting in procuring entities’ inability to timely spend their budgetary allocations, thereby creating procurement backlogs and delays in the development agenda of the Liberian government”.

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