The Executive Director for the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC), James Dorbor Jallah says consistent delay in approving the National Budget is hindering the procurement of non-recurrent goods and services such as vehicles, and road construction projects.
Dorbor Jallah indicated that the delay inhibits the timely delivery of much needed development projects and social services especially road projects that have a very small window of execution during the dry season. Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) on Capitol Hill yesterday, the PPCC Boss emphasized the need for the speedy implementation of development programs and activities. Mr. Jallah indicated that budget approval delay consumes the period during the dry season when procurement activities for road works procurement should take place. According to him, most often the National Legislature approves the national budget at the beginning of the dry season. “By the time the procurement processes for these 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,” Jallah said. “These delays adversely impact the delivery of other equally important developmental projects and delivery of important services by government ministries and agencies,” he intoned. Nevertheless, he explained that the Public Financial Management Law (PFM) envisages the delays in the budget approval and has empowered the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to appropriate up to one twelfth of an agency‘s previous year budget for each month of delay as a way of enabling the agency to continue its activities until the budget is passed. He added that in order to utilize this one-twelfth appropriation and in cognizance of a provision of the procurement law prohibiting agencies of government from committing the government to a procurement contract unless the contract has been approved in the National Budget, agencies has been constrained to extend previous year contract for the provision of recurrent goods and services. “The PPCC required agencies to obtain its approval prior to extension of any previous year contract for the number of months that the budget approval is delayed,” he averred.