The Chief Executive: 50 Billion AFA Has Been Saved in Procurement Projects

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, at the National Procurement Conference, announced there has been a massive change and reform in the procurement system of government agencies.

The Chief Executive said procurement system was facing serious problems in the past, there was no transparency and due to the procurement system, projects were put off and the resources were spoiled; however, after creation of the National Procurement Commission, positive changes have been made.

Dr. Abdullah said the National Procurement Commission assigned 3330 contracts to companies over the past four years at the cost of 500 billion AFA.

The Chief Executive said that in the past, due to lack of proper procurement work, dozens of infrastructure projects which were considered priorities of the national development of Afghanistan remain untapped, but now the projects have opened their way towards implementation and the saving figure has reached 50 billion AFA. This figure is significant in the current situation of Afghanistan, given its dependence on foreign aid.

“The 159th meeting of the Procurement Commission focused on ensuring transparency, attracting people’s trust as well as international supporters, strengthening domestic production and the private sector as well”, said the Chief Executive, adding that in the past, the most problematic issues were related to procurement of security-defense agencies.

Dr. Abdullah said in the past, the projects were taken over by a few companies, but now efforts have been made to expand the scope of private sector’s participation for taking contracts. Also, the companies that did not have a good history were blacklisted.

The Chief Executive emphasized that, now, the procurement capacity has been created in government agencies. This is despite the fact that in the past, the agencies suffered from lack of capacity. In addition, work of the Procurement Commission has been approved by the international institutions.

Dr. Abdullah said that we can never claim that %100 reforms have taken place. We still need more work and effort to combat corruption and bring reforms.

The Chief Executive emphasized on cooperation between government agencies and the National Procurement Office and said that the government agencies, given the principle of rule of law, should consider the National Procurement Office a permanent partner. This can help fight corruption and create transparency in projects. All government agencies should have procurement credit which is one of the goals of the National Procurement Office.

Dr. Abdullah thanked the World Bank, Asian Development Bank as well as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for providing transparency and reform in procurement sector, noting that we need not only focus on achievements, but also focus on further reforms and changes.

Stating that it is essential for the agencies to coordinate and cooperate with each other in order to improve work, ensure transparency and achieve goals, the Chief Executive expressed hope that the future leader of the government will take a better administration with the changes taken place.