COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP (OGP) DIALOGUE WITH THE THEME ‘COVID-19: REDEFINING OPEN CONTRACTING AND PUBLE PROCUREMENT HELD ON THE 12TH MAY, 2020, VIA TELECONFERENCING (GOOGLE MEET)

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP (OGP) DIALOGUE WITH THE THEME ‘COVID-19: REDEFINING OPEN CONTRACTING AND PUBLE PROCUREMENT HELD ON THE 12TH MAY, 2020, VIA TELECONFERENCING (GOOGLE MEET)

PREAMBLE

On the 12th May, 2020, Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) in collaboration with OGP Kaduna, Kaduna Public Procurement Authority (KADPPA), Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL), Public Private Development Company (PPDC) and Connected Development (CODE) facilitated a dialogue with the theme, Covid-19: Redefining Open Contracting and Public Procurement, via teleconferencing (Google Meet).

The dialogue had the objectives of availing civil society firsthand information on new developments concerning public procurement in Kaduna State as it relates to Covid-19; identifying entry points for effective citizen’s engagement in tracking procurements during the lockdown in the spirit of OGP; sharing experiences on challenges being encountered by procurement entities and monitors; and agree on critical areas of collaboration in improving transparency and accountability in public procurement. The keynote speech was delivered by KADPPA and the panelist were the representatives of Ministry of Education, PPDC and CODE; while the participants were drawn from the civil society, private sector, media and development partners.

The dialogue generated a number of key observations and resolutions, which are outlined below.

OBSERVATIONS

  1. Stakeholders commended the Kaduna state government for its continued rapid and decisive response towards checkmating the spread of Covid-19 and its socio-economic negative impact.
  2. Concerns were raised on section 6 (Emergency Procurement) of the Kaduna State Infectious Diseases (Prevention) Regulations, 2020, which empowers the State Governor to dispense with the strict compliance of all or any part of the Kaduna Public Procurement Law of 2016 or any other law for procurements related to Covid-19, and its implication for transparency and accountability.
  3. Concerns were raised on the near absence of transparency, accountability and robust citizen’s engagement in the utilization of the 500 million naira earmarked for the procurement and distribution of relief materials.
  4. The pandemic provides the government a rare opportunity to build and strengthen trust with citizens through proactive disclosure of information on public procurement. Presently, there is little or no participation of civil society in the public procurement in response to Covid-19.
  5. The ongoing effort of ensuring the e-procurement portal is fully functional by the Kaduna Public Procurement Authority (KADPPA) was also commended.
  6. The e-procurement portal, which was activated early this year, is accessible with the first module for contractors’ registration in place; however, the second module was about to be operationalized when covid-19 interrupted it. The portal has the capacity to conduct all procurement processes or activities from opening of bid up to post bidding stage.
  7. The portal enables civil society and other stakeholders to access information and interact with KADPPA and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
  8. Presently, there are efforts ongoing to harmonize the e-procurement portal, Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) portal and the Eyes and Ears App. Also, the 36 states have agreed that Kaduna state should be the pilot of the single e-procurement portal, of which the process has commenced.
  9. The KADPPA is presently collecting data of procurements being carried out in response to Covid-19 in the State.
  10. The KADPPA at present is unable to ensure regular and timely access to Covid-19 related procurement information due to the fact that the portal is not yet operating at full capacity, so also the training of MDAs is still ongoing to enable update of data real time.
  11. The Ministry of Education is in the process of building its website which will provide real time information on procurement and contract execution. This will also enable civil society working in the sector to request for information, carry out effective tracking and provide informed feedback to the Ministry on projects being executed in schools. RESOLUTIONS
  12. Call on the government, in the spirit of OGP, to provide a clear framework that allows civil society to engage toward improving transparency and accountability in the public procurement related to Covid-19.
  13. Encourage the strengthening of civil society collaboration and coordination in tracking public procurement during this period of the pandemic.
  14. Increase citizen’s awareness on the e-procurement, OCDS and Eyes & Ears portals of the government towards improving the quality of participation in procurement and contract execution.
  15. To strengthen partnership with KADPPA towards improved availability and access to procurement information on Covid-19 by citizens.
  16. Call on the Office of the Auditor-General of Kaduna state to come up with mechanism that will take note of the adjustments to our Public Financial Management system to ensure adequate accountability post-Covid-19.
  17. Engage with the Kaduna State House of Assembly for a joint oversight partnership in ensuring efficient allocation of resources to strategic priorities, quality service delivery, value for money and accountability in the response to Covid-19. Signed:

Danjuma Dangwa Abbas
Head – Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Development/Team Lead Open Contracting
Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED)
dangwamartins7@gmail.com

Zaliha A. Lawal
Chapter Lead,
Connected Development (CODE)
zaliha@ifollowthemoney.org

Ehis Agbon
Broadcaster/Media Consultant
Invicta Fm/Procyon News
Ehis.agbon@gmail.com

Mr. Sulaiman Yusuf
Soba Youth Awareness Movement
yusufusulaiman@gmail.com

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