Diepriye Dimkpa Douglas
Having never been to Italy before, coming to Turin for the training programme on “Procurement Management in the Public Sector” on 6-24 October 2014, I was full of great expectations and a little bit of anxiety due to cultural differences. Thanks to the Activity Manager and the Activity Assistant for their warm reception and wonderful hospitality.
Firstly, the division of the 19-day training programme between three eminently qualified resource persons was a panacea for any form of diminishing returns. The interactive nature of the class not only enhances knowledge but ensues understanding and friendship across cultural boundaries. The classroom was very conducive for learning and the visits to Chamberry, Annecy, Venice, Monte Carlo, Monaco as well as Nice were breathtaking and refreshing.
My expectation from the training was to gain requisite knowledge on how to manage the procurement of goods, works and services in the public sector with the aim of advancing the work of public procurement practice in my organization - Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority – a state-owned agency with the mandate to build a new city in the Rivers State of Nigeria.
The training exposed us to the fact that the procurement of goods, works and services is not carried out in isolation but is centered on legal instruments such as treaties, laws and rules as well as international trade/procurement agreements depending on the procurement environment involved. The procurement environment can be global, international, regional or national. The training also x-rayed the basic principles of procurement, procurement methods as well as procurement steps and identified procurement planning, risk assessment and management as central to a successful procurement process. It posited transparency, non-discrimination, fairness, open competition and value for money as common principles of public procurement. The discussion on the UNCITRAL Model Law on dispute resolution and the study visit to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland were truly enriching.
The baseline and performance indicators and measurement for benchmarking public procurement systems was expository and a necessary tool for effective procurement practice. The use of INCOTERMS, which defines the tasks, costs (carriage, customs, insurance and clearance) and risks involved in the delivery of “Goods” from the seller to the buyer, was highly appreciated. Bid opening and evaluation that encapsulates post qualification, award and publication of contract was sufficiently discussed.
The training has remarkably improved my outlook and will enhance the delivery of my procurement function in my workplace.