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Sierra Leone

Open Public Procurement Contracting (SL0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sierra Leone National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: National Public Procurement Authority

Support Institution(s): Office of the President, Line Ministries, Anti-Corruption Commission; Transparency International, Open Contracting Partnership, Society for Democratic initiative, Budget Advocacy Network, Network Movement for Justice and Development, Education for All

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Open Contracting and Procurement, Private Sector, Public Participation, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sierra Leone End-of-Term Report 2016−2018, Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem/ issue to be addressed
This commitment addresses corruption and misuse of government funds, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and lack of opportunities for businesses in public procurement and public expenditure.
Main objective
The main objective is to improve accountability of procurement management in Sierra Leone.
Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit)
The government will improve citizen and business access to open, timely, and credible information about public procurement and promote their engagement in monitoring public procurement processes.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 10. Open Public Contracting

Commitment Text: The government will improve citizen and business access to open, timely, and credible information about public procurement and promote their engagement in monitoring public procurement.

Milestones:

  1. Publish on yearly basis all contracts entered into by Government above the threshold for the preceding year: 2015, 2016
  2. 8 Ministries (MOFED, MAFFS, MOHS, MEST, MMR, MWHI, MOE, MTA) will proactively publish on NPPA websites contracts entered into with private contractors above the threshold on regular basis (Contract entered between January to December of each year from 2016 to 2018)
  3. A forum comprised of public officials, civil society leaders and National Public Procurement Authority to promote open contracting will be established

Responsible institution: National Public Procurement Authority.

Supporting institution(s): Transparency International, Open Contract Partnership, Society for Democratic Initiatives, Budget Advocacy Network, Network Movement for Justice and Development, and Education for All.

Start date: July 2016                                                                                  End date: June 2018

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aimed to improve accountability and transparency in public procurement to minimize corruption and protect public funds. Public agencies’ procurement of goods and services is a major source of corruption in Sierra Leone, according to annual reports of the Auditor General. [68] By increasing the disclosure of information around these procurements and involving citizens in public procurement discussions, the commitment would improve transparency and accountability, which reduces corruption and protects public funds.

Status

Midterm: Limited

There was limited progress on the commitment by the midterm. The National Public Procurement Authority only published contracts awarded during 2016, but not 2015 as required by the commitment. Some ministries mentioned in the commitment did not include their contract information on the website. The forum to bring public officials, civil society and the National Public Procurement Authority was not held. For more information, please see the 2016−2018 midterm report. [69]

End of term: Limited

For Milestone 1: The National Public Procurement Authority’s (NPPA) website did not publish contracts below a certain threshold entered into by government in 2015.

For Milestone 2: Some contracts between the government and private contractors, and above the threshold required by law, were published on NPPA’s website. [70] However, a public notice from NPPA showed that other government ministries and agencies were not cooperating with the requirement to publish all contracts above the stipulated threshold. For instance, in August 2018, NPPA issued a call to all public agencies asking them to publish invitations for contract bids on NPPA’s website. NPPA also issued another notice asking public agencies to publish all contracts above the stipulated threshold on NPPA’s website. In these notices, NPPA said the publications were meant to increase transparency in the award of government contracts and raise public awareness of government contracts. [71]

Milestone 3: A CSO involved with the commitment, the Network Movement for Justice and Development, confirmed that the forum to bring together public officials, civil society, and the NPPA was not held by the end of the implementation period. [72]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Major

Information on the government’s procurement contracts were not being published at the time the action plan was adopted. Disclosure of these contracts was intended to increase transparency of public financial management. The researcher who conducted the February 2017 Sierra Leone Open Contracting Light Assessment and a member of the Steering Committee said the public access to government procurement information was a major opening of government. The government has increased access to information including awarded contracts and cancelled contracts. In the past, no such information was published. [73] However, as indicated in two press releases, limitations remain in the government’s efforts to bring procurement information to the public: agencies were not publishing invitations for contract bids on NPPA’s website; and not all public agencies were publishing all contracts above the stipulated threshold on NPPA’s website. [74]

Carried forward?

The government had not released the third action plan at the time of this report. The commitment should not be carried forward into the next action plan as contracts entered into by government agencies, above the legal threshold, are being published on the National Public Procurement Authority’s website. Public agencies are also being required to announce invitations for bids, and also submit annual procurement plans.

[68] http://www.auditservice.gov.sl/report/assl-auditor-general-annual-report-2016.pdf.

[69] Charlie Hughes, Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018 (OGP, 9 Jul. 2018), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/sierra-leone-mid-term-report-2016-2018-year-1/.

[70] National Public Procurement Authority (Sierra Leone), “Contract Awards” (2019), https://www.publicprocurement.gov.sl/index.php/contract-awards.

[71] http://www.publicprocurement.gov.sl/index.php/public-notice-for-uploading-on-nppa-website. Note, however, that the original link has been out of service.

[72] John Momo (Head of Program, Network Movement for Justice and Development), interview with IRM researcher, 3 Sept. 2018.

[73] John Momo (Head of Program, Network Movement for Justice and Development), interview with IRM researcher, 3 Apr. 2019.

[74] http://www.publicprocurement.gov.sl/index.php/public-notice-for-uploading-on-nppa-website. Note, however, that the original link has been out of service.


Sierra Leone's Commitments

  1. Gender

    SL0012, 2016, Capacity Building

  2. Foriegn Aid Transparency

    SL0013, 2016, Aid

  3. Waste Management

    SL0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  4. Fiscal Transparency and Open Budget

    SL0015, 2016, E-Government

  5. Audit Report

    SL0016, 2016, Audits and Controls

  6. Climate Change

    SL0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Elections

    SL0018, 2016, E-Government

  8. Record Archive Management

    SL0019, 2016, E-Government

  9. Access to Justice

    SL0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Open Public Procurement Contracting

    SL0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Publish and Revise 70% of Mining and Agricultural Lease Agreements and Contracts

    SL0009, 2014, E-Government

  12. Starred commitment Right to Access Information Law

    SL0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  13. Open Data Portal for Transparency in Fiscal and Extractive Transactions

    SL0011, 2014, E-Government

  14. Public Integrity Pact with 5 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies

    SL0001, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  15. Archives and Records Management Act

    SL0002, 2014, E-Government

  16. Scale up Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate

    SL0003, 2014, Public Participation

  17. Compliance with Audit Measures

    SL0004, 2014, Audits and Controls

  18. Starred commitment Single Treasure Account

    SL0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  19. Extractive Industry Revenue Act

    SL0006, 2014, Extractive Industries

  20. Scaling up Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives

    SL0007, 2014, Extractive Industries

  21. Local Content Policy (LCP) Linkages with MDAs

    SL0008, 2014, Capacity Building