By Ramatoulie Jawo
Finance Minister, Seedy Keita Thursday tabled the Gambia Public Procurement (GPP) Bill 2022, before the Parliament for consideration and adoption.
The bill was accompanied with a certificate of urgency by his Excellency President Adama Barrow in line with Section 101 of the 1997 Constitution.
Tabling the bill, Minister Keita told lawmakers that it is a modern procurement law, which would address the weaknesses of the Gambia Public Procurement Act, 2014.
“Specifically, the improvements in this Bill focuses on the areas of e-government procurement, open-contracting initiatives, and disfavoured groups in procurement,” he said.
Hon. Keita further told the parliament what the bill seeks to achieve.
“This Bill also seeks to consider the procurement of second-hand goods, cancellation of existing exemptions, and the power of the Minister to come up with different regulations, creating rules of procurement for Central Government, Local Government, parastatals, State-owned enterprises, private bodies, and other entities managing public funds,” he told lawmakers.
The Finance Minister added that the bill further seeks to address key issues that would bring it in line with international best standards, which includes, institutional reforms, separation of regulation and control, control of directives, and promote the independence of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA).
Intervening on the bill, Honourable Omar Jammeh, Member of Parliament for Janjanbureh said if the country really wants to fight corruption, the government should have tabled before them an anti courruption bill and the likes, instead of the public procurement bill.
“I think we need bills like the Anti Corruption Bill, and the Draft-constitution before us, than the Gambia Public Procurement Bill,” he said.
Hon.Jammeh further suggested the bill to be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) for proper scrutiny and be brought back to the plenary for proper debate.