Authorities at the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) in collaboration with partners on May 27 officially launched the “Vendors Register.”
The Vendors Register is an initiative of the PPCC developed for five primary reasons under the theme, “Enhancing Efficiency and Participation of Businesses in Public Procurement.”
Based on the theme, the five reasons developed are to enhance efficiency in public procurement; increase the level of participation of businesses and companies in public tenders; facilitate the implementation of the Small Business Act legislated to promote the growth of Liberian-owned businesses; formalize the informal sector of the economy; and improve tax compliance and revenue generation.
Prof. Willie Bellie Jr., PPCC Chairman of the Board of Commissioners said, only business and companies listed in the Vendors Register will be eligible to participate in public procurement effective fiscal year 2015/2016, beginning July 1 this year.
PPCC Chief Executive Officer, James Dorbor Jallah, among other things, explained that, to enhance efficiency in public procurement implies that once the Vendors Register has been populated through the registration process, PPCC will know all capable supplies for any given procurement contract package and be in the position to advise all procuring entities to utilize more time, and const-efficient procurement methods thereby resulting in shorter procurement cycles and cost- saving to the government.
“This time efficiency will result in timely delivery of much needed services and development projects thereby accelerating Liberia’s development through which the cost-savings will provide a space for increased value for money,” said Mr. Jallah.
According to him, another benefit of the Vendors Register is to ensure that all businesses, irrespective of their geographical location, will have a fair chance of participation in government tenders.
This he said, will depend on the method of procurement utilized for a particular contract package, procuring entities will be required to invite all known vendors. This increase in participation will guarantee greater value for money thereby protecting the public’s interest.
He said, the Small Business Act (SBA) has been promulgated to promote the growth of Liberian-owned businesses.
“It requires that at least 25 percent of all government procurement contracts be awarded to Liberian-owned businesses. It further requires that a minimum of 5 percent of those contracts be awarded to Liberian women-owned businesses,”
This law, Mr. Jallah said defines Liberian-owned businesses as one of which Liberians own majority shares, and for which Liberians are primary signatories to the business’ bank accounts.
The Vendors Register will collect pertinent information for all businesses operating in Liberia thereby allowing the PPCC to determine the businesses that are eligible to benefit from the SBA.
Various speakers including stakeholders and business representatives expressed gratitude for the launch and promised to cooperate with the PPCC in its implementation across the country.
The launch, which was held yesterday at the Monrovia City Hall by the Minister of Commerce, Axel M. Addy, was attended by several high profile individuals including the representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Dee Maxwell Kemayah, president Liberia Business Association, Dewitt von Ballmoos, Director-general, National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), among others.