Delta to set up portal for costing of materials, contract bids
A special online portal for costing of materials and products for award of contracts is to be set up by the Delta State government as it begins the process of curbing the inflation of cost of inputs in project execution.
All ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are expected to subscribe to the central portal where all contracts will now be centrally evaluated using costing templates that will be aligned with prevailing market rates.
Under the arrangement, contracts by all MDAs will be centrally vetted by the Delta State Public Procurement Commission, an agency set up following the passage in December 2016 of an executive bill sent to the state House of Assembly by Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of the state.
The commission which has been empowered to superintend the vetting of all contracts will set the guidelines for the administration of public procurement in Delta State. Mr. Joseph Duke Okeze, director general of the commission, said an initial set of guidelines has been sent to the state executive council for approval.
He said the commission will subject all contracts biddings to uniform evaluation, especially in terms of cost of materials, including foreign inputs in project execution. “We are compiling the cost of materials and products used in execution of contracts and projects. Every MDA will be required to obtain a Certificate of No Objection from us before any contract can be awarded. Of course, the rates will be regularly reviewed to align them with prevailing market rates,” Okeze said.
Speaking at a sentisation workshop for civil society organisations, contractors and the media with the theme the new public procurement regime in Delta State, he said the central portal will be a reference point for all biddings. “MDAs will forward all biddings for contract to the commission. Irrespective of whatever may have been quoted as cost of materials and inputs, everything will be subjected to the rates in the portal uniformly. The objective is that the wastes associated with indiscriminate costing of contracts will be eliminated,” Okeze stated at the workshop.
According to him, the contract bidding process will be fulling computerised and made online. “We will register every contractor wishing to work for the government. Bids will then be conducted online and bidders will be able to access the portal for the rates of materials to guide them appropriately. Governor Okowa is passionate about the project and is keen to use the platform to further improve the utilisation of resources. So we will have e-registration of all contractors, e-bidding for projects and e-procurement of materials.”
He said procurement is at the centre of development in every part of the world and its efficient administration is essential in the process of service delivery in the state. In the field of public procurement, Okeze said the reforms seek to achieve the harmonisation of standards and practices and to achieve transparency, competitiveness and value for money in public procurement.
The Delta State Public Procurement Law 2016 establishes common standards in procurement planning, methods, execution, enforcement and review. The law also empowers the commission set up under it to regulate the practice of public procurement within every government institution in the state.
The commission has embarked on sensitisation and capacity building of stakeholders in the state public procurement practice.