The Deputy Minister of Finance I, Mrs Jeneba Bangura, has disclosed that the Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system will increase transparency and accountability in government procurement systems and minimise human interactions in procurement activities.
She made this disclosure recently in a ceremony held by the National Procurement Authority (NPPA) and the World Bank to officially launch the tender process for private firms to develop an electronic procurement system for the government of Sierra Leone.
The Deputy Minister further stated that the transition from traditional paper-based procurement systems to a cutting-edge electronic platform represents a bold step by the government towards modernisation and commitment to transparency, accessibility, and fairness in the public procurement landscape.
She noted that this initiative aligns with the commitment of the Government to embracing innovation-streamlined processes and fostering an environment conducive to fair competition among vendors.
Madam Bangura emphasised that launching the electronic government procurement bidding document is not just a short-term activity but a process to change how the government conducts and manages procurement activities positively.
“By digitalising the procurement processes, we aim to eliminate inefficiencies associated with manual paperwork barriers to entry and empower a diverse range of suppliers, both large and small, to participate in government procurement initiatives, reduce bureaucracies created mostly through human actions”, she added.
The Financial Secretary, Matthew Dingie, said transparency and accountability are critical in public procurement.
He also stated that digitalising the process is one major reform to improve efficiency and effectiveness in procurement processes, noting that over 70% of government expenditure is procuring goods, works and services.
The Chief Executive of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Mr Fudie Konneh, said that electronic government procurement was part of his aspirations when he took over the institution.
He said the process is not only for the Ministry of Finance but for all MDAs and stakeholders as it would fast track and improve transparency on the procurement processes.
Mr. Konneh further stated that electronic procurement has long been incorporated into the procurement systems of some African Countries.
Representatives from the Civil Society Organization thanked the government for taking steps to improve the Public Financial Management Systems (PFM) reforms, stating that this would improve accountability governance resources, fairness, transparency and value for money.
He further advised that the government must be steadfast in monitoring the implementation process of this system as their would-be defaulters would derail the government’s effort.