METHODOLOGY FOR ASSESSING PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS
This assessment uses as its reference point the Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems (MAPS) developed under the auspices of the OECD/DAC. This represents the most commonly accepted tool available which developing countries and donors can use to assess the quality and effectiveness of their procurement systems.
The purpose of a MAPS based assessment is to provide a basis upon which a country can formulate a capacity development plan to improve its procurement system. Similarly, donors can use the common assessment to develop strategies for assisting the capacity development plan and to mitigate risks in the individual operations that they decide to fund. The long term goal is that countries will improve their procurement systems to meet internationally recognized standards enabling greater effectiveness in the use of funds to meet country obligations.
The outcome of this assessment is thus to provide a capacity development plan which addresses the identified weaknesses of the Samoan national procurement system with a view to encouraging donors to assist and support the improvement initiatives foreseen in that plan. Capacity is understood to mean not only human resource capacity but also the capacity of the institutions and structures in place to facilitate and implement efficient and economic procurement processes with a view to achieving value for money for the national economy. The resulting capacity development plan seeks to address not only procedural weaknesses in the legal and regulatory framework but also weaknesses in the overall organizational and institutional structures which might inhibit the achievement of such objectives. The deficiencies of the procurement system identified by way of this MAPS assessment need to be addressed holistically through the promotion of complementary activities which together are needed to achieve the benefits which Samoa deserves.
The Assessment concluded that Samoa’s public procurement system is currently rather weak on all levels and it scores poorly in all four Pillars of MAPS. The state of the Legal and Regulatory Framework is far better than would appear to be the case from the initial score, given the existence of the draft Treasury Instruction (Procurement) if adopted as they currently stand, address a number of weaknesses identified in the legal and regulatory framework.
The table to the above presents the results of the Assessment of Samoa’s procurement system in all four Pillars of MAPS and can be improved through the implementation of the proposed capacity development plan.
The following are the key elements of the proposed Capacity Development Plan. A time frame of five years is envisaged to complete the proposed plan:
- Improve the legal and regulatory framework
- Establish a sustainable capacity development and create a procurement cadre
- Strengthen the Procurement Division to become a functioning regulatory body
- Introduce an independent complaints review mechanism
- Consider converting the Tenders Board into a strategic organ of the regulatory body