Consumerist: The Need For Accountability In Public & Private Procurement!

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‘In the end – we are all a bit to blame because we have not insisted on real accountability, transparency, and competency of those to whom we entrust with such procurement function.

The best way to avoid the failures we have seen in these procurement is to determine whether our state procurement procedures are based on common sense business considerations and whether they conform to “Best Practices” in public contracting or worst we are giving great jobs to undeserving incompetent, foolish and bungling idiots in political expediency?’

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Consumerist: The Need For Accountability In Public & Private Procurement!

Everyone talks about accountability!

Perhaps we talk so much about it because we do very little to embrace it in our system?

One man, a politician who challenged me about accountability when he took office in a particular state at an inaugural Parents Teachers Meeting in that state, a decade ago or more ago, where I was a member of the PTA was today sentenced by the highest court in the land for corruption!

I am saddened by it all.

His wife was a dear friend!

Yes, I must state that accountability constitutes a central pillar of any public procurement system be they public or private initiative.

And again – Yes, without such transparent and accountable systems enabling governments, private agencies or industry and citizens to engage in a
mutually responsive way, the vast resources channeled through public procurement may end up elsewhere or having the danger of increased corruption and misuse of funds.

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Even in a nation with all kinds and forms of checks and balances be it in the US, UK in Europe or other capitals of the civilized world public and civic oversight can help identify inefficiencies, thereby increasing procurement efficiency and effectiveness

Any qualified procurement professional will tell you, the administration phase of a public procurement is equally as important as the solicitation phase.

The administration phase of a public contract is critical to success of the project.

It is during the contract administration phase that the government or private contract managers assess whether the contractor’s performance meets the government’s strategic objectives as expressed in the contract’s “Statement of Work.”

If the contractor is not meeting the Statement of Work requirements, the government or private contract manager has the oversight authority to demand corrective action that will ensure the contractor meets its obligations.

The contract’s Statement of Work is the manager’s key tool to evaluate contractor performance and ensure the contractor’s work accomplishes the purposes of the contract.

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The Statement of Work is a clear, comprehensive, and concise statement of the contractor’s obligations. It also delineates the performance measurements and milestones the contractor must meet to ensure full and timely completion of the contract Statement of Work.

Even small government or private sector failures in overseeing the contractor’s compliance with the Statement of Work can cause big problems.

Inadequate oversight and enforcement of the contract Statement of Work will lead inevitably to the kinds of failures.

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To ensure successful performance of every public contract, the government must do two things:

• First, the government or private sector must ensure its contract managers are fully trained and fundamentally competent in the “Best Practices” of public contracting.

• Next, the government or private sector must demand real accountability on all parties to the contract, including its own technical staff and contract managers.

The stakeholders commitment to competence and accountability must apply to all procurement steps from the drafting of the Statement of Work, the inspection and evaluation of contractor performance, and the final acceptance of the contractor product or service.

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If the government or private sector or owner does not ensure its contract managers are trained and competent or if the government or stakeholders does not ensure accountability, the risk of failure is high. Worse yet, there will be no meaningful way to determine who is at fault for the failure.

The result is often a dramatic waste of public funds and long delays in obtaining what the public needs.

In the end – we are all a bit to blame because we have not insisted on real accountability, transparency, and competency of those to whom we entrust with such procurement function.

Image result for datuk dr jacob george

The best way to avoid the failures we have seen in these procurement is to determine whether our state procurement procedures are based on common sense business considerations and whether they conform to “Best Practices” in public contracting or worst we are giving great jobs to undeserving incompetent, foolish and bungling idiots in political expediency?