By: Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia Consumer Competition and Protection Commission (GCCPC), has yesterday, 25th April 2018, validated the Vehicle Procurement Study 2018, at a local hotel in Kololi.
Ndey Kumba Demba, the Chairperson of the Validation Workshop, said GCCPC is mandated to conduct market study under Section 15 (k) of the Competition Act 2007.
“In 2016-2017, GCCPC conducted a market study on vehicle procurement in The Gambia. The aim of the study is to understand the procurement process and to identify competitive conduct. The period of the study is limited to the Vehicle Procurement Act 2011-2015, the outcome of which we are here to validate today,” said Madam Demba.
Mr. Ebrima Sanyang, the Director of Policy and Procurement Operations at GPPA, said the importance of procurement is to make the people know the amount of money spent on procurement, both at the national and international levels, which he disclosed is huge and covers 75% of the taxpayer’s revenue.
“The GPPA ensures that procurement is done in the right way and one of the right ways that we advocate for and is in line with the Procurement Act is to ensure competition. This shows the importance of the study, conducted by the Competition Commission,” he said.
Mr. Sanyang emphasized that a relatively high percentage is also spent on vehicle procurement and given the amount spent on this, the law would have preferred open tendering, a system where procurement is subjected to open competition so that whoever feels he can compete will be given the chance.
“Given the circumstances such as the limited number of vehicle suppliers, we normally advise that restricted tendering be used in the sense that it is limited to a few selected, who are known to be buyers,” he said.
He emphasized on competition, adding that it is pivotal in procurement as it ensures quality as well as reasonable pricing on items. He thanked the study team for a job well executed.
Mr. Abdou AB Njie, Vice Chairperson of the Board of the Commission, said when contracting authorities on the use of public funds to purchase goods, services or works, it is important they ensure best practice deals are reached by taking advantage of the competition in the relevant market; that consumers know when there is competition, they get better prices and value for money.
“Government procurement without transparency and genuine exposure to competition, leads to inefficiency. Competition should therefore be the cornerstone of public procurement. The core of public procurement is the intention that public bodies should use taxpayer’s funds effectively,” said Mr. Njie.
He said if contracts are awarded without a fair and transparent procedure, there will be no guarantee that the best deal will be reached and that the supplier’s view will be market distortion, and some will be discriminated against potential suppliers who were not allowed to present their bids.
“The Gambia spent D1.95 billion on public procurement in 2014 and 7% of this amount or D136,500,000, was on vehicle procurement. This figure represents only the transactions that were subjected to prior review by The GPPA. In the current financial year of 2018 alone, Government’s development budget stands at D1.277 billion. This is why in our role as the body responsible for the enforcement of the Competition Act 2007, we accord high priority to public procurement”, posited Mr. Njie.