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EFCC, ICPC probe CEOs of govt agencies over procurement

Some chief executive officers of government agencies are currently being probed for infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has said.

Mustapha said this at the 2018 procurement retreat for chief executive officers of Federal Government agencies in Abuja on Saturday.

The SGF, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary for General Services, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, said the Federal Government had ordered all its agencies to adhere strictly to the 2007 Procurement Act in project execution.

He said, “The ICPC and the EFCC are currently investigating cases of infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, with the hope of punishing any civil servant found to have colluded with contractors to subvert the rules of the Act.

“Any CEO who defaults or collude with contractors, or is found to side-line the procurement process and procedure, thereby acting contrary to the provisions of the PPA, 2007, will be sanctioned.’’

The SGF stated that the Federal Government ordered the probe of the suspected agencies by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, adding that those found to have colluded with contractors to subvert the rules would not go unpunished.

The retreat, organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement, in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had as its theme: ‘Public Procurement for Sustainable National Development’.

The SGF also warned the CEOs of government agencies not to do business with any contractor who did not have the accreditation of the BPP, adding that compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 was mandatory.

Mustapha said, “Every government agency must avail itself of the BPP training programmes, both at the BPP Training Centre in Abuja and other Public Procurement Research Centres in the universities. Ministries, Departments and Agencies are directed to patronise only BPP accredited firms.

“Every government agency must comply with the SGF circular on procurement plans and procurement records. Government will not hesitate to deal with any erring agencies that are yet to submit their procurement plans and procurement records of the previous year and the current year, respectively.

“It is mandatory for every government agency to use the public procurement documents as authorised by the BPP such as the standard bidding documents and other BPP documents.”

The SGF added, “All agencies must de-emphasis the use of selective tendering methods as the norm rather than the open competitive methods as prescribed by the PPA, 2007. Agencies must ensure that they have the final engineering design for any project to reduce the high rate of fluctuations and variations.

“Government is in the process of implementing an e-Government process that will help to prevent corruption. Accounting officers are not only responsible for compliance with the provisions of the Act by their respective MDAs, but also liable in person for the breach or contravention of the provisions of the Act and all extant regulations on procurement.

“Accounting officers must adhere strictly to the approved threshold and avoid contract splitting, which is a punishable offence under the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”

In a goodwill message, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, said a good procurement process was central to transparency in government.

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