The Forum attracted over two hundred and twenty participants drawn from Ministries, Department, Agencies, International Financial Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Government Ministers, Local Council authorities and Procurement officers among others.
Welcoming participants to this august meeting, the Chairman NPPA Board of Directors, Mrs. Alice Onomake expressed great delight for the opportunity accorded her to welcome participants to this occasion. In her opening statement, she maintained that by hosting the Forum, NPPA was performing a statutory function as provided for by the 2004 Public Procurement Act. She maintained that the National Public Procurement Authority was established mainly to perform oversight and regulatory functions on public procurement in Sierra Leone, focusing mainly on the procurement of goods, work and services, financed in whole or in part from public or donor funds by virtually all Ministries, Departments, Commissions, Agencies and Local Councils.
Mrs Onomake pointed out that as long as public funds are used, the procurement processes implored are subject to the rules and regulations of the Public Procurement law.
She went on to state that by bringing together key stakeholders from various institutions, NPPA was creating an opportunity for open discussions and to dissect issues and challenges facing public procurement in Sierra Leone. The chairperson of the Board of Directors also emphasized the need for networking among all key stakeholders and frank discussions among partners “to understand what works and why what works, work.”
The deputy minister of finance, Foday B.L Mansaray who chaired the opening session said lots of resources had been used by the government in the provision of essential services for the citizenry via procurement processes and emphasized the need for the proper management of state fund.