By Baba Sillah
Officials of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority in collaboration with the EU, yesterday gathered at Sunset Hotel to validate the Gambia’s first Grants Bill.
Officials said it will assist GPPA in following rules of international standards of procurement.
The GPPA is established to provide better value for money in the acquisition of goods, works and services and at the same time enhance the development of local enterprises.
All procuring businesses and organisations in The Gambia are required to comply with the Public Procurement Act.
The managing director of GPPA, Abdoulie Tambedou, commended the EU for providing technical assistance to the GPPA.
With close to 70% of government budget being expended through public procurement, the managing director said reforms aimed at providing public procurement systems will ensure optimal use of meager resources.
He said: “With grant inflows representing close to half of most developing countries annual inflows, The Gambia included, reforms aimed at ensuring implementation of the grants are handled through our own country systems and will help in improving our capacity in management of projects.
“The major benefit of separate grant legislation is the simplicity of having a unified document over grants. It is preferable to have similar Grants Acts as that of the EU Financial Regulations [FR] establishing grants as a separate pillar of assessment. This legislative opinion taken by GPPA is aligned with the best international legislative practices of most of our other bodies.”
Ada Gaye, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the government is “very cognisant” of the huge resources disbursed through grants but “unfortunately the current procurement framework does not handle grant regulation.”
She praised the EU for hiring an expert to support GPPA’s incorporation of a grant regulation in The Gambia’s legal framework to lay the foundation for The Gambia to manage its own grant schemes.