National procurement authority
By Ahmad Sahil-First, NPA stands for National Procurement Authority. It’s one of the biggest procurement office in Afghanistan, where all the mega contracts take place and are approved on the basis of decision by committee. In accordance with16 decree of H.E. President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani established NPA office on 20/7/1396. NPA is theoffice where all the development, operation, construction, and agricultureProjects are signed in the presence of the president of Afghanistanand NPC’s members. Secondly,National Procurement Commission has different national and international members for observing all the huge contracts on the basis of quality and cost. National and International delegationssuggest and view the Projects which are above 70 million Afghanis.The Officewas established in order to bring transparency and reforms in procurement section at ministries and to avoid corruptionin country. Thirdly, looking back to history,Afghanistan received trillions of US dollars frominternational community,but Afghan government failed in the observation and control of the mentioned aid funds.In the past few decades Afghanistan did not havesuch kind of office and Commission for its procurement operation and contracts evaluation and observation. Fortunately, when the national unity government won the Election in 2014and became authorized so, they had establishedNPA office and Commission to put very deal and contract in a framework so that the international community can trust our government. The policy of National Procurement Commission is to approve or reject the contracts on the basis quality. The commission always focuses on the best quality and low cost of the contracts.
National Procurement Commission is responsible to deal with those companies which had a great experience in the past and thecommittee focuses onthe requirement of the projects.Some Pros and Cons of National Procurement Authority Office are written below.
Why is NPA Office important?
As mentioned above that Afghanistan received trillions of US dollars financial aidfrom international community for different activities such as, development, infrastructure, and economic sectors and particularly in the military section. This aid was not spent on appropriate projects. All the aid was spent on ineffective projects. National Procurement Commission brought transparency and good changes indeal of contracts. National Procurement Commission made a process for all those contracts which are above 70 million Afghanis. The national and international members of NPC have a technical staff to review and suggest the best contracts.Furthermore, the useless contracts are ignored.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of NPC?
Some advantages and disadvantages are written below.
Prevention of Administrative Corruption
The establishment of National Procurement Commission has a great Impact on the administrative corruption in the country.The main goal of NPC to filter and reduce corruption rate and control the cost of contracts with suppliers.In the past years, when the government had dealing of contract with supplier, the cost of contract was offered in high range by the suppliers in which the committee did not judge the real costs of such contract.Besides, cost of projects is reduced in contracts and the benefit of NPCavoids corruption in contracts dealing. All contracts are observed and evaluated by national and international delegations.
Prevention of Unnecessary Projects
In Past years, we witnessed suchtrivial projects. As per SIGAR report, Afghanistan spent trillions of dollars on valueless projects. All the projects offered were inefficacious and didn’t bring any output for the country. When NPC initiated its operations, these projects were turned down by the national and international members of NPC. The useless projects are reduced and now NPC implements the most fundamental projects.
Reduction of Corruption
All ministries had authority for managing mega Projects before NPC. When it came into existence, it took the whole responsibility.Government has witnessed that most of the contracts of ministries were hidden. NPC disclosed those contracts and the contractors involved in corruption. Now the question is how NPC reduced corruption. It awarded contracts to people whose presentations and other documents for contracts were carefully scrutinized and provided quality services, so that’s how they reduced corruption. References are also wiped out. Although elimination of corruption was a tough Challenge for Afghanistan in the past, NPC did it significantly. NPC is basically established to bring a transparent system in projects.
Quality of Work
National Procurement Commission emphasizes on the high quality and low cost of the contracts. The commission always tries to select companieswhich have the efficiency and effectiveness of work. It examined contractsvery closely which are over 70 Million Afghanisbecause it is thepolicy NPCto check and review the documents on the basis of past experience and quality services of companies which did not exist in the past.
The lack of employees in National Procurement Commission impacts on the ministries mega projects such as development, infrastructure, and other massive Projects. We have more than 25 ministries andeach ministry has minimum five or more than five projects every year. When NPC holds such projects, it does not have capacity to control and check all of them.
Moreover, downsizing of national staff in NPA is a big challenge for spending annual budget in a development, infrastructure projects and to downsize personnel will delay the huge contracts at ministries. In addition, bureaucracy is another barrier inside the government offices. National Procurement Commission must focus to increase their staff since a small group cannot get their goals effectively.
Delay Contracts Duration
Well, it’s significant to implement the fundamental projects on time. Delaying the projects causes a lot of problems such as ministers are questioned at the end of year that why they did not spend budget on time. The ministers’representatives cannot explain the reasons in such a case of not spending the budget, but in my view here that the major reason in project is the postponement of contracts documents.
Consequently, National Procurement Commission should strengthen human resources and increase personnel. They ought to hire enough staff to reduce the working load inside NPA office.Finally, National Procurement Commission is supposed to focus on big projects which are so necessary for building the country such as, mass dams, high way construction, railways and others.The financial responsibilities of the ministries must be raised by NPC so that postponement of projects can be avoided.
The writer is a Finance Manager at High Peace Counsel (JPIC), Social Activist and a regular contributor of Social Activities. Sahil hold Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) Finance Specialization, Follow on twitter @k_ahmad90.
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