Give powers to provinces: NPC

National

SERVICE delivery powers should be given to provinces and districts to serve the majority of the people living in rural areas, National Procurement Commission (NPC) chairman Kenneth Thomson says.
Thomson, officiating at the commissioning of the Unggai-Bena procurement committee (DPC) at Lahame in Unggai-Bena, Eastern Highlands, last Friday, said centralising all decision-making powers for service delivery in Waigani should be reviewed as Port Moresby comprised of a small percentage of the country’s population.
“That approach to service delivery needs to be changed and that is what NPC is doing under the public procurement reforms,” he said.
Thomson said with the establishment of the Unggai-Bena DPC, the district had the power to undertake procurement of goods, services and works via transparent tender up to the limit of K2.5 million.
“This is a very big jump compared to the previous threshold limit of K500,000 which the districts used to preside over and approve projects,” he said.
“Anything above that (K500,000) usually goes to the then provincial supply and tenders board to do the tendering and procurement.
“But now, the NPC board is exercising its powers under the National Procurement Act 2018 (NPA) to delegate some of its procurement powers and functions from Waigani down to the districts and provinces where most of our people live.”
Thomson urged the Unggai-Bena DCP and other committees to comply with the National Procurement Act when discharging their duties.
“If you step out of line and abuse the powers given to you now, the same board at NPC has the powers to dismiss your district committee and withdraw the powers given to you today,” he said.
Thomson said districts and provincial procurement committees were to award contracts to nationally-owned companies as their threshold limit was below the national restriction and reservations of K10 million under Section 48 of the NPA.
“We encourage districts and provinces to award contracts to competent national companies.”

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