18 October 2007 | Paul Snell
New procurement bodies need to make sure government purchasing is measured accurately, the Commonwealth has said.
At a meeting of buyers from African Commonwealth countries in Uganda last month, Kaifala Marah, an adviser on public expenditure management in the Governance and Institutional Development Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, said procurement monitoring agencies had to make sure their own government spending was audited properly.
"Between 80 and 90 per cent of Commonwealth African countries have devolved procurement management functions, from Central Tender Boards to newly established procurement agencies," he said.
"One of the challenges these new institutions face is being able to measure and evaluate procurement activities to achieve value for money."
He added it was important for countries to build procurement skills and capacity alongside the introduction of reforms. To this end the Commonwealth Public Procurement Network for Africa, a group for heads of procurement agencies, could share advice and offer support to buyers.