A procurement reformer is lost

4 November 2009
“Procurement chief shot dead” is not a headline I thought we’d ever run in Supply Management. But yesterday we heard about Keith Jubah, head of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission in Liberia, who was murdered at his home, according to reports. While the precise details are not yet known, it is thought a gang of men killed Jubah outside the capital Monrovia on Sunday. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in a statement the crime had been carried out by “disgruntled” former employees. She described Jubah as one of the country’s most decent public servants, who believed in the reform agenda, and said Liberia had lost a “great asset”.   It’s easy to forget that what procurement professionals do every day is make decisions about how money is spent and who wins work. It may be described as ‘back office’ but those decisions change lives. In Jubah’s case he headed an organisation that helps fight corruption by scrutinising government spending. How many times have we heard (and therefore written) about procurement’s ‘low profile’ as a profession? Surely, it doesn’t get much higher than when what you do motivates someone else to kill you?
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