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Procurement: Is There A Way To Get It Right with Franklin Ibemessie- African Experts Podcast Ep 3

Across the globe, government institutions, private companies, and small businesses use procurement procedures to get goods or services they need. But what is procurement? It is the act of finding and agreeing to terms and acquiring goods or services from an external source, basically through a tendering or competitive bidding process.

In the latest episode of the African Experts Podcast, “Procurement: Is There A Way To Get It Right”, host Vickie Remoe is in conversation with Franklin Ibemessie, a global leader in procurement policy and practice.

Remoe and Franklin start the conversation on the issues around procurement that results in corruption. According to Franklin, wherever there is spending, that’s where corruption takes place, and this makes procurement one of the huge issues of corruption.

They looked at the common denominators across the board in the way that the government procures goods and services in countries that Franklin has worked in. He states that it’s easy to tell when you’re doing the procurement process, whether the procurement office, the buyer, or the government is interested in getting the product they need or getting something out of it. The procurement rule states that when you do procurement, you should not benefit from it at all. 

“Sometimes basic documentation tells you how the procurement is likely to pan out. But you also have to look at a lot of things, what is the situation with the bidding community in the country, do they have a good bidding community, can suppliers, contractors, and consultants do the work that’s available to the buyer at some point in time, ” Franklin stated.

He explains how bad procurement deals happen so often. Bad procurement relates to the issue of value and it runs across two different sets of levels in the procurement process, which are product value and process value.

While doing procurement if you follow all the rules that are supposed to take place, that’s process value and that doesn’t mean at the end you cannot get wrong values. For product value, if you plan to buy a laptop then you go across the process and win it properly. So the result that leads to corruption in procurement is some people want to buy certain stuff, but some of them want to gain financially from the deal and in procurement, there is a basis where no one should gain, and people should buy products that meet the procurement process.

What policies need to be put in place to lessen corruption in procurement.

“Whenever you have corruption in procurement, the only way to address it is to address corruption itself as a whole within that environment, within the political environment, the economical environment, because it is almost impossible to tackle corruption on its own on the procurement,” said Franklin. 

Most people involved in the procurement environment have believed that they have the right to participate in corrupt practices because other people have done it and now it’s their time to do it again. People procure things that are not beneficial to the general public.  For example, if you buy a vehicle for a project, then you buy a Range Rover instead of a Toyota Prado, that’s still a waste.

When asked about what organizations or agencies can do to make procurement less corrupt, he states that governments need to put people in procurement roles that are fiduciarily responsible because if you look at procurement especially in Africa, you will find what you see a lot is the lack of punitive measures for these things. So there is not much responsibility in a lot of countries that he has worked in. 

Listen to the podcast now to get the full insight on procurement and how corruption can be handled within the process. Click on the link below to listen now: https://anchor.fm/africanexpertspod