The National Procurement Commission (NPC) is looking at giving more powers to districts and provinces to undertake procurement for effective and efficient delivery of goods and services.
NPC chief executive officer, Simon Bole, made this statement during the swearing in of Hela Provincial Procurement Commission, Mendi Munihu District Procurement Commission and Tari-Pori District Procurement Commission of the NPC in Port Moresby on Wednesday (April 14).
Mr Bole said limited procurement powers given to districts and provinces over the years has been contributing towards lack of basic services and that is the change the Government wants to see in the current procurement reforms NPC is implementing.
“Under the previous Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB), only provincial tenders board were established and districts did not have the capacity to undertake their own procurement.
“Districts were only limited to projects valued up to the threshold limit of K500, 000 and were depending on the provincial governments for tendering and that has impacted badly on service delivery,” Mr Bole said.
Mr Bole says, currently, NPC through the board is delegating its procurement powers and functions to the districts to undertake procurement at the threshold limit of K2.5 million which is a very huge jump from the K500,000 limit.
“So if a district undertakes procurement for five different projects valued at K2 million, then they are presiding over contracts worth around K10 million which is significant enough to have real impacts and bring change in the district.
“Likewise, for the provinces which has a threshold limit of K5 million,” Mr Bole said.
He also warned provincial and district committees to use the powers delegated to them with greater care and responsibility.
“When you take a closer look, you will be making decisions for the allocation of resources and awarding contracts for goods and services on NPC behalf. Thus, it is your responsibility to ensure you perform your duties and functions with total honesty and integrity. “This is very fundamental to the Government’s vision of enhancing service delivery through the public procurement reforms,” Mr Bole said.
Meanwhile, NPC board chairman, Kenneth Thomson said the efforts and commitment by NPC to establish procurement committees throughout every districts and provinces is continuing with very good progress made so far.
“Districts and provinces that have yet to have their respective committees successfully established must make it their immediate priority to contact NPC and facilitate their establishment,” Mr Thomson said.
He said the NPC board has set a deadline until the end of June this year for all districts and provinces to have their respective procurement committee.
Mr Thomson said without the committees, they would not have the powers to undertake procurement of goods and services as per required by the National Procurement Act.
To date, NPC has successfully established Provincial Procurement Committees in 13 provinces and they include Oro, East New Britain, National Capital District, West Sepik, Madang, Southern Highlands, Western, Central, Milne Bay, Manus, Eastern Highlands, East Sepik and Hela.
Four provinces awaiting swearing in of their committees are Simbu, New Ireland, Gulf, and Western Highlands.
Four provinces that have yet to write to NPC for their committee establishment are Enga, Morobe, West New Britain, Jiwaka and Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
For the districts, 32 were successfully established and sworn in to undertake procurement, 26 awaiting swearing in and remaining 31 yet to write to NPC.