By Aminata S Kuyateh
The director of policy and operations, Gambia Public Procurement Authority, has told the LG inquiry that violations of the laws governing procurement by the area councils are intentional and not mistakes.
He said this during the continuation of his testimony before the commission on Thursday.
Testifying specifically on the Mansakonko Area Council, Sanyang said the 2019, 2020 and 2021 procurement compliance reports of the council revealed some serious violation of procurement rules and deals that were susceptible to corruption and fraud.
“In procurement, the laws required for the establishment of contracts committee by the area councils and appointment contract committees responsible for approving contracts and the councils are required to provide delivery evaluation reports and prohibit trading with suppliers that do not register with GPPA,” he said.
He added that Mansakonko Area Council failed to observe rules of single sourcing, example thresholds of single sourcing.
He said it was observed that the procurement unit was under the finance department, while procurement unit of area councils supposed to be under the office of CEO.
“There is a risk that the procurement unit may not be independent in their operation and the procurement reports may be delayed,” the witness noted.
Director Sanyang said during an interview with a staff of the procurement unit of the Mansakonko Area Council, the GPPA observed that interference in procurement processes was very high and that there was only one staff at the unit for the first six months.
He added that accountability and transparency cannot be assured in such type of system and stressed that it can cause use of wrong procedure, which can lead to wrong awarding decisions.