Planning your procurement

There are two stages of procurement planning, one is the process of achieving clarity to procurement objectives and obtaining information that appropriately specifies and provides understanding of product qualities and market conditions, the second is the process of deciding appropriate procurement methods, aggregating needs, where applicable, setting out and sequencing steps required from solicitation to award , this second part is often represented in a procurement plan often submitted to procurement regulators in Nigeria. In reality few devote sufficient time and effort to the first stage , the result can be that the product of the second stage which is a procurement plan may be less useful than it should be, why do you think many procurement and related officers pay less attention to the first stage ?




12 thoughts on “Planning your procurement

  1. Reason being that, most times the practitioners are either ignorant or do not have the capacity to provide such a useful tool in ensuring effective and efficient procurement function. Another very interesting reason is the fact that not many states or institutions have the basic legal framework that establishes procurement cadre nor the establishment of the institutional requirements and their legal provisions. Having said that, the Local Government, another tier of government is by far not near any of the practices in procurement. When you put this together, and the individualistic interest to cut-corners in the interest of making-it-fast-syndrome, the hitherto drivers of the procurement functions abuse the initial stage of ‘planning’ and never give it the right attention.

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    1. Dear Yusuf. Well said. However it needs to be acknowledged that there are cases too, where practitioners have capacity and are wiling to do it right, but are frustrated by the absence of needed work tools and sometimes lack of co-operation and encouragement from superiors who want to work from the answer to the question

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  2. All the earlier comments by my colleagues above counted in the overall delivery or otherwise of effective value-for-money Procurement processes, but the underlying motive for short changing the natural flow of procurement is the desire by the authorizing body(ies) to follow path of list resistance from the political class.
    Having said that, Procurement Planning actually starts from need assessment, available funds, technical competence/availability, local/international enabling laws and host of other conditions even before the drafting of the Work Plan which the procurement plan would eventually be a slide of.
    I, like others believe that when Procurement Cadre is fully on ground with qualified, experienced and committed personnel backed by enabling laws and willing bureaucratic and political classes, better delivery of Procurement proceeds will be realized.


    1. Dear Engr Danladi. It is interesting how you capture it, ” to follow the path of least resistance from political” pressure I guess, but often times this same path may satisfy personal greed also, the law is in place, the cadre has been created, what steps would you think are necessary to overcome political influence, achieve improved competence and professionalism?


      1. In terms of professionalism, I am seeking a new career path and have heard that those that work in the procurement department of most federal or state ministries, parastatals or local government councils make a lot of money. So I want to know, must I have qualifications in procurement to work in any sensitive position in the procurement department or serve on the tender board? Can’t I learn on the job? After all I do not think that Nigerian Universities offer degrees in procurement and hard work and dedication to duty should count.


      2. I know the Federal Civil Service Commission not too long ago advertised for entry level procurement officers in Nigeria. If I remember correctly, they required graduate degrees in all the build environment professions and others like law, economics, statistics, accountancy etc. I assumed then that being entry level positions these different professionals if employed will be trained to perform their procurement roles. Procurement is a multi-disciplinary function and so it did not surprise me that this was the approach of the Civil Service Commission.But if you were seeking a senior position, it is likely, there will be need for some cognate qualification and experience.

        I don’t know that procurement officers make any extra legitimate income that other public servants in Nigeria do not receive. Prior to procurement reforms it was believed this was the case. Since 1999 many of the practices that led to illegitimate incomes for public officers have been criminalized either by the Procurement law or other anti-corruption laws. Thus if your sole purpose is extra income, you may be running a very high risk of ending up in the ICPC or EFCC net and in court accused of a crime. You may wish to consider this prospect.


    1. The procurement plan and specifically the template completed to be submitted by MDAs to the procurement regulator contains information on a) procurement activities to be carried out by an MDA in a budget year, b) the methods of procurement to be used, c) sequenced time for solicitation activities pre-qualification if any, issuance of bidding documents, bid submission, bid opening etc and d) expected time for award etc. Whilst it helps the MDA to plan, and maintain integrity of the process, this planning information should help interested bidders to prepare to bid, and the regulator the Bureau to carry out its supervisory functions more effectively, this is why the Public Procurement Act 2007 requires it be submitted to the Bureau and provides for public access to this and many other procurement documents which are public records, provisions which are reinforced by the FOI law. It would however seem like many bidders do not know they could request for this document legitimately from the MDA or the Bureau under Section 16(14) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Freedom of Information law 2011 which indicates classified and unclassified public records


    1. Procurement Planning helps an MDA;
      To understand the market, and what is available
      To precisely define inputs& Outputs regarding the project
      To precisely define criteria for selecting contractor & awarding a contract
      To precisely define the expected results
      To identify challenges and prepare remediation to avoid identified risks
      To reduce uncertainty (Risk)
      To realize economies of scale and scope by aggregation of needs
      To maintain effective control of the procurement process
      To facilitate decision making in the procurement process
      To avoid unnecessary delays.etc


      1. Perhaps I need to add that procurement planning can and should help MDAs avoid the notorious December rush to spend before appropriated funds are mopped up for the next budget year. Preparing and implementing a procurement plan enables an MDA to have its processes proceed and be ready for award even when releases of appropriated funds have been delayed. This helps to prevent the circumstance where people short cir cute the process in other to meet up with end of year deadlines, when funds finally get releases. Even more important is that Procurement Planning along with prior budget appropriations are now conditions precedent to carrying out any procurement as provided in Section 16(1)b of the Public Procurement Act 2007. Such that if an MDA has no no procurement plan in a year, it should carry out no procurement, and when it does have a procurement plan, it should only procure projects that are found in the procurement plan. This is also the case with most state procurement laws in Nigeria currently. It is no longer optional to plan MDA procurement.


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