From Uche Usim, Abuja
In line with its efforts to institutionalising transparency and accountability in public service, the Federal Government has released a circular prohibiting officers on other cadres from procurement duties where career procurement officers are available.
In a circular dated June 14, 2017 and addressed to various government agencies including the Chief of Staff to the President, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Habiba Lawal, directed that only officers employed as Procurement Officers or converted to Procurement Officer cadre are permitted to conduct procurement functions.
“Accounting Officers should ensure that forthwith, that only officers who pass the conversion examination organised by the Bureau for Public Procurement should immediately be converted into the Procurement Officer Cadre by the respective Senior Staff Committee.
“Conversion into the Procurement Officer Cadre should not result in loss of grade for any reason”, she said.
She said the circular became necessary because government discovered that approval by Accounting Officers for their staff to undergo the conversion training programme organised by BPP, some the officers are still not converted from their previous cadre by the heads of their Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) after successfully passing the examination and when converted are not posted to the Procurement Department to function as procurement officers.
Lawal also noted that where staff handling procurement functions do not possess the requisite academic qualification for conversion, BPP should not post procurement officers to such MDAs until qualified staff are recruited.