Osun State House of Assembly on Wednesday suspended the Public Procurement Act 2008, and passed Provisional Tender and Consultancy Board law,that empowers the state tender board, which shall be constituted by the governor to award and monitor government contracts.
The provisional law would be in force pending the time the governor will present a substantive law that would replace the public procurement bill before the House.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola had last week sent a letter to the House, requesting the repeal of the law as part of the government’s ongoing reform, embarked upon by his administration, to ensure speedy execution of government projects.
According to the letter, the governor said the State Executive Council on Wednesday 25, January, considered and approved the repeal of public Procurement Law 2008.
The letter reads in part; “There are numerous gains in clear, transparent and efficient rules and practices of public procurement. The Public Procurement Law 2008 is replete with complex provisions , over centralized process or public procurement and creates inefficiency in prompt delivery of social services by the government”
“The state government has embarked on serious law reforms to address the gross inadequacies being experienced under the public procurement law, but it has become imperative to make transitional provision, so that the government will not fail in the delivery of the needed services to the public before the completion of the reform exercise”.
Leading discussion on the policy thrust of the repeal and provisional law, the Leader of the House, Honourable Timothy Owoeye said considering the eagerness of the people of the state to witness the physical projects, it is important to pass the law as proposed.
Honourable Kamil Oyedele, while contributing on the bill, said the purpose of the law seems to have being defeated as a result of cumbersome process and procedures in the award of contracts and urged members to repeal the law and replace it with the provisional law.
Honourable Afolabi Atolagbe argued that the Bureau of Public Procurement is empowered even beyond any civil service standard. He cited the similar bureau at Federal Government level which is not as powerful as the bureau in the state.
Honourable Lekan Afolabi said the law was drafted in bad faith, arguing that all the provisions in the law revolve around the former governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as the Council Chairman, who has the sole appointment and approval authority.The bill was later considered for second and third reading by the lawmakers.
Speaking after the passage of the bill, the Speaker Honourable Najeem Salaam commended the members for speedily considering the bill to enhance the execution of government projects and urged the executive council to forward the substantive law to the House on time.
With the passage of the repealed law, all the powers and other statutory functions of the Bureau of Public Procurement are suspended and the State Tender Board will be performing the responsibility, henceforth.