The Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) on Tuesday, September 27, announced it would shortly set new benchmarks for those wishing to become public procurement directors in any sector in Liberia. The new public procurement standards, according to PPCC
Executive Director James Dorbor Jallah, include individuals going through a full round of procurement courses and earning a certificate or degree at the end of the courses or training.
Interested persons are also expected to be vetted, certificated and licensed by the Commission. Such candidates, Jallah said, will also have to be licensed before being allowed to operate in the country as professional procurement officers. A procurement officer caught in financial malpractice would have his/her license revoked.
Jallah made the pronouncement on Tuesday at the start of a four-day training exercise in Monrovia, which brought together 46 procurement officers from the 15 counties.
According to him, the new measures, when they become practice, will reduce procurement capacity gaps, and strengthen the system as well as ensure professional standards in the public procurement arena.
“Our goal is to strengthen the system. This will also help reduce capacity limitations in the public procurement space,” Jallah told reporters shortly after the PPCC launched the concept note for training Level Two, Introductory Certificate in Purchasing and Supply, in Monrovia.
The concept is launched with funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The training, which brought together representatives from the various government ministries and agencies, according to Mr. Jallah, is held against the backdrop that Liberia’s public procurement system is currently without a professional body to regulate the conduct of procurement staff in public service.
“There is absolutely no established protocol on the placement of procurement staff in public service to the extent that entry into public procurement positions in the country is usually at the discretion of politicians/heads of institutions,” Jallah said.
As a result, Mr. Jallah said, the PPCC has started a series of workshops on a proposal that will be submitted to the University of Liberia to introduce a curriculum that will offer procurement courses.