The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Liberia has called for ‘honesty’ among procurement officers in Liberia. Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai said anyone who sees procurement as a money-making profession to earn extra money outside of their salaries must immediately leave.
He was speaking recently at the opening of a set of back to back CIPS levels 2 and 3 trainings for public procurement officers. The trainings were organized by the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) with support from UNDP for beginners and mid-level procurement personnel from Line Ministries, Agencies, Commissions and UNDP.
About 60 trainees formed part of a batch of staff who have either successfully completed previous levels of the CIPS trainings or are beginners. This initiative seeks to qualify public sector procurement practitioners for certificates in public procurement and subsequent accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), based in UK.
“You are being trained to make savings for the government without losing sight of the quality that you are looking for…. Procurement is not for money making. If you’re here to make more money, then I think you’re in the wrong place….” Dr. Beyai said at the opening of the exercise. He told procurement officers that the purpose of the trainings is to ensure that they do their best in making sure that funds are saved for government without compromising quality.
The UNDP Boss encouraged the beneficiaries to utilize skills being acquire from these trainings to be efficient in ensuring that the government gets quality with less.
“You can make effective use of this training without being a roving thieve in the streets of Monrovia, but be efficient procurement persons to support the efforts of the government…. This country needs a lot; and I think for us to get to where we want to go, we need people like you…” Dr. Beyai stated.
Also, the Executive Director of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Dorbor Jallah said the training for the group of thirty (30) persons was the third group of CIPS level three for this year, while the rest was for CIPS 2. “The first two CIPS 3 trainings were conducted early February and late March where a total of 70 procurement personnel benefitted; by the end of this batch, Liberia may have trained, at level three, up to one-hundred people which is a good thing,” Mr. Jallah said.
He said it is hoped that by the end of the year when level four should have commenced, a significant number of procurement officers would have been trained. The PPCC Boss thanked UNDP for the partnership and support to the PPCC and the government over the years.
Sidiki Quasia of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) also lauded efforts by the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) with support from UNDP for the strides being made to build trust, efficiency and effectiveness among Procurement Staff to help promote accountability and transparency.