The Federal Government has threatened that effective from 2023, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that failed to adopt the reviewed Standard Bidding documents would be sanctioned.
Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Dr. Mamman Ahmadu, who made this disclosure at a stakeholders’ Workshop on the Review of Draft Standard Bidding and Contract Documents being used for the procurement of goods, works and services, noted that MDAs had been using several editions of bidding documents to circumvent the laid down procedures, thereby undermining the transparency in the public procurement system.
According to him, by the time the revised standard bidding documents are approved, MDAs will have no choice but to adopt the reviewed Standard Bidding documents.
Ahmadu clarified: “So, what we are saying is that by the time we approve these ones all agencies of federal government will have no choice but to adopt the Standard Bidding documents as their tender document. The tender documents that will be issued to contractors will be uniform. The bidding documents are about 13 or 14 in number depending on the type of procurement.
“So, all you need to do is to adopt it, tailor, edit it to suite the particular procurement. But they have to use the Standard Bidding documents. This is by law.
“For now, we have been a bit lenient. But in 2023, any agency that does not adopt and use it will not have his procurement access approved. It becomes illegal for you not to use the Standard Bidding document. And that’s why we are taking this pain to sensitive them. We will be going to get their input so that by the time we adopt them it becomes a document”, he added.
Ahmadu, who was represented at the forum by the agency’s Director, Energy Infrastructure, Engr. Babatunde Kuye, explained that based on the provisions of Section 5(m) of the Public Procurement Act 2007, the Bureau was mandated to prepare and update standard bidding and contract documents with the aim of achieving its objectives of transparency, competition, cost effectiveness and professionalism in the public sector procurement system and disposal of public assets in line with international best practice.
He pointed out that since the development of the existing standard bidding documents in 2009, a lot had happened in the procurement space both locally and internationally, especially with the global economic meltdown, the global pandemic brought about by COVID-19, rapid advancement in technology, advancement in procurement practice globally, just to mention a few.
The Director-General explained that the development of new procurement documents and the revision of the existing procurement documents was aimed at addressing the inadequacies observed by the MDAs of government in use of the current documents, which were developed in 2009 and last updated in 2011.
Ahmadu clarified that it was in the light of the above that the Bureau, as the regulator of public procurement in Nigeria, decided to respond to the identified challenges in the use of the procurement documents with a view to bringing them up to date with the current international best practices while ensuring domestic interests are well taken care of for the purpose of national development.
The Director-General said the Abuja forum, which was convened after similar stakeholders’ engagements had been held in Lagos, Rivers and Kano states, was part of the BPP’s response to the identified challenges in the use of the procurement documents with a view to updating them with global best practices and ensuring that they reflect the domestic interests.
He pointed out that the Abuja forum served as an opportunity for all stakeholders “to contribute to the ongoing procurement reform in the country towards ensuring national development.”