Transparency In Governance: Fashola Signs Lagos State Public Procurement Agency Bill Into Law
Oct 21, 2011 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Friday signed into law the State's Procurement Agency Bill 2011 saying the law speaks to the commitment of his administration to continue to render transparent and accountable governance to the people of Lagos State.
The new 70-section Law which, among others, seeks to ensure probity, accountability and transparency in public procurement process and to establish a fair pricing standards and benchmark, will, however, take effect from April 2, 2012, according to the Governor.
In his short remarks before signing the bill into law at the Lagos House, Alausa, Governor Fashola, who noted that the bill has been long in coming, said the law was also a means by his administration to set leadership example that government business could be accountably done and transparently accounted for the benefit of the citizens.
The Governor said the law was significant particularly coming in an era of the Freedom of Information Bill (FoI) and the Financial Management Law which also seek to ensure transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.
Governor Fashola, however, explained that the Law would become effective from April 2, 2012 in order to make it possible for the related agencies that would be affected by the implementation of the Law to be adequately trained pointing out that implementing it immediately would tantamount to shutting down the Government. He disclosed that he has given directives to the concerned Ministries to commence such training.
Earlier, while presenting the bill to the Governor, the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye, said Section 2 of the 70-Section Bill would establish a Governing Board for the agency with members comprising of the Commissioner for Finance and his Budget and Economic Planning counterpart as well as three members of the public one of who must be a member of the Civil Society Organization.
Section 3 of the Bill, according to the lawmaker, deals with powers of the Board while Section 8 deals with the objectives of the agency which according to him includes ensuring probity, accountability and transparency in public procurement as well as establishing fair pricing and benchmark in the procurement process.
Section 9, the majority leader said, contains the functions of the agency which includes, but not limited to, the approval of changes to procurement process to adapt to changes in technology as well as amendment and review of monetary benchmark for the application of the law.
While Section 10 deals with powers of the agency which includes enforcing the rules of procurement procedure, Sections 22 to 68 deals on rules governing public procurement which include, according to the Majority Leader, the bidding processes, procurement implementations, tenders board and so on as well as failure or rejection of bids.
Section 60 empowers the board to set up an e-procurement process after 12 months of the signing of the bill while Section 70 outlines the offences and contraventions under the law as well as sanctions which include six to 10 years imprisonment without an option of bail for convicted offenders.
Also present at the brief ceremony were the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Right Honourable Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu and her Special Duties and Establishment and Training counterparts, Dr. Wale Ahmed and Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, among other members of the State Executive Council and Legislature as well as other top government functionaries.