The goal of the procurement intervention is to contribute to the emergence of a functional, transparent, accountable, value for money and gender sensitive public procurement system in support of Nigeria’s national development. This has led to the establishment of the Nigeria Public Procurement Observatory.
The Objectives of the Observatory are to:
- Build the capacity of stakeholder groups for the engagement of the public procurement system;
- Advocate for the passage of public procurement laws at the state level in some focal states;
- Monitor and report on the implementation of federal public procurement relating to agencies involved in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
- Raise public awareness and sensitization on public procurement reforms.
- Interventions to enhance the functionality of the procurement process
Activities so far include a series of capacity building workshops held in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 which trained over 300 CSO representatives. The project has collaborated with BPP in organizing over five sensitisation sessions on the PPA. A manual for the monitoring of the Public Procurement Act (Insisting on Due Process) has been produced and over 2000 copies of the manual have been printed and distributed. The manual apart from containing monitoring strategies also contains a monitoring checklist. A newsletter “Observatory News” is published on a biannual basis – it reviews the activities of government and its agencies, contractors and service providers and civil society in procurement issues. The annotation of the PPA has been prepared and published.
In terms of monitoring and reporting, biannual and annual reports on the implementation of the PPA have been published. The reports include “Half-Hearted Attempts” and 2009, 2010 and 2011 Annual Reports. CSJ has observed the bid opening process of not less than 100 MDAs over the past three years. The project has engaged the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation through a suit at the Federal High Court on the need to constitute the National Council on Procurement. The High Court ruled against the Observatory and we have proceeded on appeal. The Observatory designed a Code of Conduct for civil society procurement observers which, has been adopted by the Bureau of Public Procurement. The Observatory conducted and published the first diagnostic study on the implementation of the PPA which revealed the strengths, weaknesses and best practices emerging from the implementation of the PPA.
The electronic mail listserv firstname.lastname@example.org disseminates procurement news and activities on a daily basis. The listserv serves as a discussion forum on public procurement. The project also publishes articles in the print media and participates in electronic media discussions.
The Observatory intervened in the proposed amendments to the PPA which sought to remove civil society and other stakeholders from the membership of the National Council on Public Procurement and to increase mobilization fees to contractors above 15%. In our collaboration with other stakeholders, the bill did not scale through the legislative mill. It also contributed to the preparation of the Procedure for Debarring Contractors and Service Providers by the BPP.
At the sub-national level, the focus is on advocacy for enactment of the law and in states where the law has been enacted, the focus is the same as the federal level. To encourage states to produce public procurement laws, a draft model law on public procurement has been developed. The project’s core personnel did a clause by clause analysis of the Bayelsa, Enugu and Nasarawa State Public Procurement Bill. The analysis was sent to the State legislature. The project also trained public servants in Cross River State on procurement reforms in 2010 and in collaboration with BPP has been involved in procurement audits across several MDAs.