By Chimezie Godfrey
As part of its efforts to ensure transparency and curb corruption in procurement processes in Nigeria, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has presented its procurement monitoring report and showcased the procurement monitoring website, the “PMTracker.”
CISLAC encouraged the media and the general public to take advantage of the website, to report questionable and abandoned contract jobs that they come across.
The website was launched on Thursday in Abuja, during the presentation of the report for public procurement monitoring activities to the media.
According to Isese Sor, the Procurement Monitoring Officer, CISLAC, the media presentation is to let the public know the extent they have gone with the project.
Sor added that the project seeks to give support to the procurement processes of public institutions and to create awareness and support for the implementation of the FOI Act.
“Today we are presenting to the media the result of report of our public procurement monitoring activities.
“We have selected MDAs, we monitor the procurement sector, we monitor some agencies in the education sector, power, works and housing, and health.
“Among the agencies that we monitored, we requested for them to give us some record of their procurement monitoring process so we can determine their level of compliance with the public procurement act.
“So, basically the media presentation was about letting the public to be aware of how far we have gone with the project.
“Is a project that seeks to sensitize or support the procurement process of public institutions and at thesame time create awareness and support the implementation of the FOI act,” said.
The Procurement Monitoring Officer said one of the key findings in the report is that MDAs do not have adequate knowledge regarding what FOI entails.
She disclosed that in some cases, agencies do not have a desk officers for FOI, a situation he says, that hinders their capacity to provide information and sometimes make them to be defensive.
She pointed out that if the public procurement monitoring processes were transparent, it would minimize corruption in the country.
She further revealed that one of the way to be able to determine if a procurement process is flawed, is to look at the processes that lead to the award of the contract.
Sor added that if a sector is not able to provide information and disclose how a contract is awarded, it indicates that there is a shady deal regarding the award of such contract.
On the extent of compliance with the procurement act, she said that there is improvement but urged MDAs to be more open to give information on awarded contracts as may be required.
She commended the agencies that gave out all the information that were requested for.
“we commend them and we are hoping that as awareness for FOI increases, we will be able to come to a point where government agencies will be able to open up their procurement monitoring processes and then will be able to know that what they are doing is in accordance with the PPA and FOI act,” she said.
She recommended that MDAs should properly educate themselves regarding the FOI act, so that they can be equipped to give certain information when requested for.