Commission detects mischief in GPPA applications approval
The Local Government Commission of Inquiry has detected “inconsistency and mischief” in the way GPPA approved applications.
The observation came amid GPPA’s approval of Restricted Tender (RT) application for Banjul City Council (BCC) in purchasing vehicle for the Lord Mayoress worth D3 million.
Witness Samba JB Tambura, director of Compliance at GPPA, disclosed to the commission that they received a letter from BCC on 19 October 2018, requesting for Restricted Tender for the purchase of vehicle for the mayoress, whose vehicle was in bad condition.
He said the letter revealed that “the current vehicle was purchased in 2011 and it is due time to purchase a vehicle for the mayoress”.
The letter further stated that “The mayoress’s vehicle is in good condition due to regular maintenance”.
Deputy lead counsel Patrick Gomez asked the witnesses whether they were aware of contradictions the letter contained.
He further informed the two directors that another letter from BCC informed GPPA that the Mayor’s vehicle was in a bad condition. In response, the witnesses said they were aware.
Witness Tambura said the justification from BCC for applying for restricted tender was “there are no too many car dealers”.
When the deputy lead counsel further asked whether that was enough justification to approve the Restricted Tender, witness Tambura said “yes”.
He elaborated: “Section 44 of the procurement act indicates that “when you are applying for restricted tender the procurement organisation should establish a pre-qualification; that they should have a list of vehicle dealers and they must be known to everybody and that list should be with the applying institution.” He also said they were approved of the RT.
“Who approved these applications generally, after detecting different signatures in the meeting files?” Counsel further quizzed.
“It’s the director general,” responded witness Ebrima Sanyang, director of Procurement Policy and Operations.
Counsel Gomez also put it to the witnesses, asking: “We see these approvals signed for the director general. Could it be the case that approvals are granted without the knowledge of the director?”
Witness Sanyang said all draft letters were sent to the director general and every letter signed were signed on behalf of him.
Counsel Gomez further asked whether all transactions in GPPA were approved by the director general. “Yes,” Mr Sanyang replied.
Counsel Gomez thus told the witnesses: “You are not adhering strictly to the rules and regulations in either approving or not approving contracts.”
Source: The Point