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Fighting corruption requires smartness

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-Dorbor Jallah
The Executive Director of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission or PPCC, Mr. Dorbor Jallah, says the best strategy to fighting corruption in any country is playing smart rather than employing harshness whenever it occurs.

According to Mr. Jallah, corruption fighting is by playing smart which involves building institutions that will promote transparency rather than using force to resolve the matter. He spoke Tuesday, March 22, at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill during its weekly press briefing.

He says corruption fighting is not as ordinary as the public sees it, but requires smartness of an individual or institution to put such act under control for the safety of state resources, saying by building institutions that promote transparency, sends a clear message out that the act can be put under control.

The PPCC boss outlined challenges facing his institution since his ascendency as Executive Director ranging from responses from the public, and even business owners. He said some of these challenges were systemic due to the framework of public institutions, some of whom were due to problem with individuals, procurement officers, and departments as well as feelings people had about the overall system.

He said as a result, things were not working in the best interest of the country, noting it is the old problem that experience about the delays in approving the national budget. According to Mr. Jallah, under the procurement regime, no entity is allowed to commit the Government in a procurement contract unless the money that is needed for that contract is being approved in the national budget, or is available by donors.

“So what that meant in the past is that entities will not engage in procurement contract until the budget is approved, so when the budget approval got delays, it also cascade into protracted delay in the procurement of non-recurrent goods and services such as vehicles, construction projects, among others.”

He continued that the these procurement delays inhibit the timely delivery of much needed development projects, and social services to the citizens, and the impact of these delays is particularly pronounced for road construction projects which have a very small window of execution during the dry season.

Mr. Jallah explained that budget delays consume the period during the rainy season when procurement activities for road works are stalled, stressing that procurement should take place by the time the budget is approved, but by the time procurement processes for road projects are concluded, many months in the dry season would have been lost, if not completely losing the window of opportunity in the current fiscal year. By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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