By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE Senate has begun investigation into alleged sharp and corrupt practices in the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP.
Moved by what it described as alleged irregularities in award of contracts by BPP, the Senate yesterday mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to carry out a holistic investigation into the government agency, just as the Committee was given five weeks to report back.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion by Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West who told the Senate during plenary session that there was what he termed, a monumental corruption going on at the BPP where contracts that are supposed to be awarded at N20 million were at the end of the day, awarded at N200 million, adding, “In line with section 5(Q) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 the BPP is mandated to perform procurement audit and submit such audit to the National Assembly bi-annually.”
Melaye who noted that the BPP had repeatedly failed and neglected to perform this crucial and statutory duty particularly for conducts of post procurement audit and submission of reports to the National Assembly bi-annually, said, “This neglect of duty by the BPP has affected the National Assembly in its constitutional duty of conducting oversight with respect to the application of public funds.
“Based on section 61(C) of the Procurement Act 2007, the Bureau of Public Procurement is authorised to issue Certificate of No Objection to contracts awarded by relevant procurement entities.
“The vesting of the above power on BPP is aimed at ensuring that the letters and spirit of the Public Procurement Act is complied, government gets value for money, contracts awarded are within relevant threshold and has it backed by budgetary allocation.