The Lagos State Public Procurement Agency will soon commence the audit of the procurement process in the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) with a view to ensuring compliance with the State Public Procurement Law and at the same time, ensuring value for money being expended by the State Government on programmes and projects.
The General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Fatai Idowu Onafowote, gave the indication while speaking at a monthly forum organised for Public Procurement Officers in Lagos State Public Service.
Onafowote added that officials of the Agency would visit the various MDAs to inspect their procurement records in the last few years, stressing that the procurement audit inspection exercise was part of the statutory responsibilities of the Agency to ensure that “things are being done right” by the various MDAs in the State.
He, therefore, urged Procurement Officers deployed to the various MDAs to always give necessary professional advice to their Accounting Officers and also document such advice.
The General Manager also used the opportunity to advise Procurement Officers to familiarise themselves with the relevant laws, including the Appropriation Law and acquire other relevant information that could guide them in the performance of their duties.
Speaking further on the proposed procurement audit exercise, the Director of Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Department of the Agency, Mr. Akintunde Subair, disclosed that the procurement process review exercise to be carried out in the various MDAs would be based on some uniform parameters.
He asserted that the exercise was in consonance with the law vesting the agency with powers to inspect and review any transaction carried out by Ministries and Agencies of the State Government while undertaking contract performance audit to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Procurement Law.
According to him, the procurement audit team of the Agency would find out whether there is a duly constituted Procurement Planning Committee in each Procuring Entity; whether the Procurement Officer carried out appropriate market survey; whether the Procuring Entity obtained the approval of the Agency and whether the approved yearly budget of the MDA had provisions for the project.
He further explained that the team would also be interested in finding out whether the MDAs utilised the appropriate media for the pre-qualification advertisement; whether the advertisement followed the guidelines issued by the Agency and whether the bidders were notified and invited to bid; whether the evaluation committee was properly constituted and whether the contract for the procurement was listed in the Register of Awards maintained by the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, among other parameters.
Also, during a lecture delivered at the occasion, the Secretary/ Legal Adviser of the Agency, Mrs. Omobola Omotimirin, underscored the need for Procurement Officers to place integrity above other considerations in the discharge of their duties so as not to run foul of the law.