Public Procurement Act, 2004
Signed this 7 th day of December, 2004
ALHAJI AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH,
Being an Act to establish the National Public Procurement
Authority, to regulate and harmonise public procurement processes
in the public service, to decentralise public procurement to procuring
entities, to promote economic development, including capacity
building in the field of public procurement by ensuring value for
money in public expenditures and the participation in public
procurement by qualified suppliers, contractors, consultants and
other qualified providers of goods, works and services and to provide
for other related matters.
Enacted by the President and Members of Parliament in this
present Parliament assembled.
Supplement to the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. ('XXXV, No. 70
dated 16th December, 2004
THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT ACT, 2004
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Part II-ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL PUBLIC
3. Establishment of National Procurement Authority.
4. Board of Authority.
5. Tenure of members of Board.
6. Functions of Board.
7. Remuneration of members.
8. Filling of vacancies.
9. Meetings of Board.
10. Disclosure of interest.
11. Powers of Board.
12. Secretariat of Authority.
13. Annual report of Authority.
14. Functions of Authority.
15. Power to obtain information.
16. Confidentiality and prohibition of diclosure of information.
Part III-PROCUREMENT COMMITTEES AND PROCUREMENT UNITS
17. Procurement staff to be trained.
18. Procurement committees.
19. Procurement units.
20. Independent Procurement Review Panel.
Part IV-GENERAL PROVISIONS ON PROCUREMENT PROCEEDINGS
21. Qualificaton of bidders.
22. Clarification and modification of bidding and prequalification documents.
23. Rules for description of goods, works and services.
24. Deadline for bids and other applications.
25. Cancellation of proceedings for rejection of all bids.
26. Public notice of contract awards.
27. Debriefing of unsuccessful bidders.
28. Forms of communication.
29. Procurement planning.
30. Contract administration responsibility.
31. Price adjustment.
32. Records and reports of procurement proceedings.
33. Conduct of public officials.
34. Conduct of bidders and suppliers.
35. Debarment of bidders and suppliers.
36. Margin of preference.
Part V-MEIHODS OF PROCUREMENT
37. Choice of procurement method.
38. Open competitive bidding.
39. National competitive bidding.
40. International competitive bidding.
41. Restricted bidding.
42. Procedures for restricted bidding.
43. Request for proposals.
44. Request for quotations.
45. Basic procedures for request for quotations.
47. Basic procedures for sole-source procurement.
48. Invitation to bid.
49. Bidding documents
50. Submission of bids.
51. Bid security.
52. Bid opening.
53. Examination, evaluation and comparison of bids.
54. Non-disclosure of bid evaluation details.
55. Prohibition of negotiations.
56. Award of contract.
57. Acceptance of bid and signature of contract.
58. Two-stage bidding.
59. Request for consultant's services.
60. Selection based on quality and cost.
61. Selection based on quality.
62. Contract award.
Part VI-COM PLAINTS PROCEDURE
63. Right to review.
64. Review by head of procuring entity.
65. Review by Independent Procurement Review Panel.
Part VII-DISPOSAL OF STORES AND EQUIPMENT
66. Authority to dispose.
67. Disposal procedures.
69. Act to prevail.
1. (1) This Act shall apply to the procurement of goods,
works and services, including any procurement financed in whole or
in part from public or donor funds by the following bodies or
(a) central Government Ministries, departments,
commissions and agencies;
(b) local councils;
(c) subvented agencies;
(d) state-owned enterprises which utilise public
(e) public universities, colleges, hospitals and
all companies which are wholly owned by
the State or in which the State has majority
(f) any entity in the private sector which is given
the responsibility for carrying out activities
using public funds.
(2) Where this Act conflicts with the procurement rules
of a donor or funding agency, the application of which is mandatory
pursuant to or under an obligation entered into by the Government,
the requirements of those rules shall prevail; but in all other respects,
the procurement shall be governed by this Act.
(3) Where the Minister responsible for defence, with the
approval of the Defence Council, determines that a procurement
related to national defence or national security requires the application
of special measures, the application of the rules and procedures set
out in this Act may be modified by the National Public Procurement
Authority, but the modification shall be governed only with defence
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), procurement of
items such as general stores, uniforms, stationery, office equipment
and standard vehicles shall not be classified as national defence or
national security procurement.
(5) In implementing this Act, including the composition
of boards, committees and other organs provided therein regard
shall be had to compliance with the Government's policy of promoting
the appointment and full participation of women.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
"Authority" means the National Public
Procurement Authority established by section 3;
"bid" means, according to the type of procurement
method being used, a proposal or quotation
submitted by a bidder in response to an invitation
by a procuring entity;
"bid security" means the bank guarantee or other form
of security submitted by a bidder together with a bid
to secure the obligations of the bidder participating
in a bidding proceeding, including the obligation to
sign a procurement contract if the bid is accepted, in
accordance with the requirements of this Act and
the bidding documents;
"Board" means the Board of the Authority;
"collusive practices" means a scheme or arrangement
between two or more consultants with or without
the knowledge of the procuring entity, designed to
establish prices at artificial, noncompetitive levels;
"consultant" means the provider of intellectual
services, including consultants' services;
"contract" means an agreement between a procuring
entity and a supplier, contractor or consultant
resulting from procurement proceedings;
"contractor" means a physical or juridical person
under contract with a procuring entity to be a
provider of civil works;
"corrupt practice" means the offering, giving,
receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of
anything of value to influence the action of a public
officer in the selection process or in contract
"employer" means the contracting party benefiting
from a works contract (usually the procuring entity);
"force account" means the conduct of procurement
proceedings by any procuring entity with self-
supervision, utilising the entity's own resources;
"fraudulent practice" means a misrepresentation or
omission of facts in order to influence a selection
process or the execution of a contract;
"goods" means objects of every kind and description,
including commodities, raw materials, products and
equipment, and objects in solid, liquid or gaseous
form, and electricity, as well as services incidental to
the supply of the goods, if the value of those
incidental services does not exceed that of the goods
"head of procuring entity" means the chief executive
officer of the entity such as the Minister of a Ministry
or the overall head of an organization;
"intellectual services" means any activity of an
intellectual nature that does not lead to a measurable
"performance security" means the bank guarantee
or other form of security submitted by the supplier,
contractor or consultant to secure their obligations
under the procurement contract, in accordance with
the requirements in the bidding documents;
"member" means a member of the Board;
"Minister" means the Minister responsible for
"procurement" means the acquisition by any
contractual means of goods, works, intellectual
services or other services;
"procurement committee" means the group within the
procuring entity, comprising officials within and
outside of the entity, referred to in section 18;
"procuring entity" means any organ of the State or
regional and local authorities as well as statutory
bodies, public sector corporations which are majority
owned by the Government, public utilities using
revenue collected by the sale of public services, as
well as any other physical or juridical person to whom
public funds have been allocated for use in public
"procurement unit" means the department formally
established within the procuring entity to carry out
the procurement activities of that entity in
accordance with the functions set out in section 19;
"public funds" means any monetary resources of the
State budget, or aid and credits under agreement
with foreign donors, or extra-budgetary resources
of procuring entities, used in public procurement;
"public office" means an office of emolument in the
"public officer" means a person holding or acting in a
public office, and includes the members and office-
holders in a local council;
"regulations" means the regulations issued by the
National Public Procurement Authority to fulfill the
objectives and to carry out the provisions of this
"services" means any services other than intellectual
"supplier" means a physical or juridical person under
contract with a procuring entity to supply goods,
construct works or provide intellectual and other
"vote controller" means Permanent Secretary of a
Government Ministry, Chief Administrator of a local
council. Managing Director or a General Manager,
Executive Director or other head of a State-owned
enterprise, or head of a Government department,
agency or commission;
"works" means all works associated with the
construction, reconstruction, demolition, repair or
renovation of a building, structure or works, such as
site preparation, excavation, erection, building,
installation of equipment or materials, decoration and
finishing, as well as services incidental to
construction such as drilling, mapping, satellite
photography, seismic investigations and similar
services provided pursuant to the contract, if the
value of those services does not exceed that of the
Part II - ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF NATIONAL
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY
3. (1) There is hereby established a body to be known as
the National Public Procurement Authority.
(2) The Authority shall be a body corporate having
perpetual succession and capable of acquiring, holding and disposing
of any property, whether movable or immovable, and of suing and
being sued in its corporate name and, subject to this Act, of performing
all such acts as bodies corporate may by law perform.
(3) The Authority shall have a common seal, the use of
which shall be authenticated by the signature of-
(a) the Chairman or other member of the Board
authorised either generally or specially by
the Board in that behalf; and
(b) the Chief Executive or some other person
authorised by the Board in that behalf.
4. (1) The governing body of the Authority shall be a Board
consisting of -
(a) a Chairman who shall be a person competent
and knowledgeable in public procurement
and the public service;
(b) a representative of the Attorney-General and
Minister of Justice;
(c) five persons appointed for their knowledge
and experience in public procurement and the
public service, of whom two shall represent
public sector interests and three shall
represent the broad cross section of the
private business community and professional
(d) the Chief Executive.
(2) The members of the Board shall be persons of high
personal probity, appointed by the President and subject to the
approval of Parliament.
5. (1) The Chairman and other members of the Board who
are not ex-officio members shall hold office for three years and shall
be eligible for re-appointment for not more than two terms.
(2) A person shall cease to be a member of the Board
on any of the following grounds-
(a) for his inability to perform the functions of
his office by reason of infirmity of mind or
(b) for proven misconduct;
(c) if he becomes bankrupt or insolvent;
(d) if he is convicted of an offence involving
fraud or dishonesty;
(e) if he fails to attend three consecutive
meetings of the Board without reasonable
(f) if he resigns his office by written notice to
6. (1) Subject to this Act, the Board shall have the control
and supervision of the Authority.
(2) It shall also be the responsibility of the Board to
provide such policy guidance and advice as will secure the efficient
implementation of the functions of the Authority and enhance the
overall performance of the Authority.
7. The Chairman and the other members of the Board and any
person co-opted by the Board under subsection (5) of section 9
shall be paid such remuneration, fees and allowances and shall be
reimbursed by the Authority for expenses incurred in connection
with the discharge of their functions as the Board may determine,
with the approval of the Minister of Finance.
8. (1) Where the Chairman or a member of the Board dies,
resigns, is removed from office or is absent from Sierra Leone for a
continuous period exceeding three months or is by reason of illness
unable to perform the functions of his office-
(a) the members of the Board shall, as the case
may be, elect one of their number to act as
Chairman until such time as the Chairman
resumes his office or another is appointed in
his stead; and
(b) in the case of the member, the Chairman shall
arrange, subject to this Act, to have another
person appointed to the Board.
(2) Where a person is elected as Chairman or appointed as a
member to fill a vacancy, he shall hold office for the remainder of the
term of the previous Chairman or member, as the case may be and
shall, subject to this Act, be eligible for re-appointment.
9. (1) The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date I
and at such place as the Minister, after consultation with the Board, 1
may determine; and thereafter, the Board shall meet for the dispatch
of business at such time and place as the Chairman may decide but
shall meet at least once every month.
(2) At any meeting of the Board where he is present, the
Chairman shall preside and, in his absence, the members present may
elect one of their number to preside.
(3) The quorum at a meeting of the Board shall be four,
including the Chief Executive.
(4) Each member including the Chief Executive, shall have
one vote but in the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall
have a casting vote.
(5) The Board may at any time co-opt any person to
provide special or additional technical knowledge or advise or
otherwise assist the Board at any of its meetings but the person co-
opted shall not vote on any matter for decision by the Board.
(6) All acts, matters or tilings authorised or required to
be done by the Board shall be decided at a meeting where a quorum
is present and the decision is supported by the votes of at least four
members, including the Chairman.
(7) Any proposal circulated among all members and
agreed to in writing by a two-thirds majority of all members shall be of
the same force or effect as a decision made at a duly constituted
meeting of the Board and shall be incorporated in the minutes of the
next succeeding meeting of the Board:
Provided that, if a member requires that such proposal be
placed before a meeting of the Board, this subsection shall not apply
to such proposal.
(8) The Board shall cause minutes of all its meetings to
be taken by the Secretary to the Board and signed by the Chairman
and kept in the proper form as a public document.
(9) Subject to this Act, the Board shall regulate its
meetings and procedure as it thinks fit.
10. A member of the Board who lias any interest, direct or
indirect, in any matter to be considered by the Board, shall disclose
the nature of his interest to the Board and such disclosure shall be
recorded in the minutes of the Board and such member shall not take
part in any deliberation or decision of the Board relating to that matter;
and a member who contravenes this section shall be guilty of
misconduct and liable to be removed from the Board.
11. In the discharge of its functions under this Act, the Board
(a) direct the Chief Executive to furnish it with
any information, reports or other documents
which the Board considers necessary for the
performance of its functions;
(b) give instructions to the Chief Executive in
connection with the management and
performance of the functions of the Authority.
(c) on the recommendation of the Chief
Executive, approve such organisational
structures as the Chief Executive may
consider necessary for the efficient discharge
of the functions of the Authority.
12. (1) The Authority shall have a secretariat which shall
provide administrative, secretarial and other support for the Authority
and the Independent Procurement Review Panel.
(2) The secretariat shall be headed by the Chief Executive
who shall be appointed by the President subject to such terms and
conditions as the President may determine; and shall have such
structures and organisation as the Authority may determine are
necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.
(3) In addition to the Chief Executive, the secretariat shall
have such other staff as are required for the efficient performance of
the functions of the Authority.
(4) As head of the secretariat, the Chief Executive shall
be responsible to the Authority for-
(a) the day-to-day management of the affairs of
the Authority and the Independent
Procurement Review Panel;
(b) the administration, organization and control
of the other staff of the Authority;
(c) the management of the funds and other
property of the Authority;
(d) the performance of such other functions as
the Authority may determine.
(5) The other staff of the Authority, shall be appointed
by the Board upon such terms and conditions as shall be determined
by the Board.
(6) The activities of the Authority shall be financed by a
fund consisting of-
(a) moneys appropriated for the purposes of the
Authority by Parliament;
(b) grants made to the Authority by any agency
(7) The Authority shall keep proper books of accounts
and proper records in relation thereto and such accounts, books and
records shall be in the form approved by the Auditor-General.
(8) The financial year of the Authority shall be the same
as the financial year of the Government.
(9) The books and accounts of the Authority shall each
year be audited by the Auditor-General or by an auditor appointed or
authorized by the Auditor-General, who shall submit a report on each
audit to the Authority.
13. (1) The Chief Executive shall, within three months after
the end of each financial year, submit for the approval of the Board an
annual report of the activities, operations, undertakings, property
and finances of the Authority for that year.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), an annual report shall
include a copy of the audited accounts of the Authority with the
audit report thereon.
(3) A copy of the annual report approved by the Board
shall be sent to the Minister not later than six months after the end of
the year to which the report relates and the Minister shall, as soon as
possible, but not later than one month of the receipt thereof lay the
report before Parliament.
14. (1) The object for which the Authority is established is
to regulate and monitor public procurement in Sierra Leone and to
advise the Government on issues relating to public procurement.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1),
it shall be the responsibility of the Authority to-
(a) formulate policies and standards on public
procurement and to ensure compliance
therewith by all parties to procurement
(b) assess the operations of the public
procurement processes and submit proposals
for the improvement of the processes,
including the introduction of information and
communications technology, and the
development of modalities for appropriate
collaboration among procuring entities;
(c) ensure capacity building and human resource
development for public procurement,
including development, promoting and
supporting training and professional
development of persons engaged in public
(d) develop and recommend to heads of
procuring entities a career development and
management programme, and a system for
selection, appointment and termination of
appointment of procurement officers;
(e) disseminate information about, and promote
awareness of the public procurement
(f) issue standard forms of contract and
standard bidding documents for mandatory
use by all procuring entities;
(g) provide interpretation of this Act and other
instruments governing the procurement
(h) plan and coordinate technical assistance in
the field of public procurement;
(i) publish a quarterly Public Procurement
Bulletin which shall contain information on
public procurement, including approved
procurement plans, proposed procurement
notices, and notices of invitation to bid and
contract award information;
(j) publish in the Public Procurement Bulletin or
in the Gazette or newspaper with wide
national circulation or the electronic media, a
database of suppliers, contractors and
consultants, and records of prices to assist
in the work of procuring entities;
(k) on its own motion or based on reports by
procuring entities or the Independent
Procurement Review Panel, investigate and
suspend from procurement proceedings
under this Act, suppliers, contractors and
consultants who have neglected their
obligations under a procurement contract, or
provided false information about their
qualifications, contravened tax regulations,
or offered inducements referred to in this Act;
(1) maintain and issue on a regular basis to all
procuring entities a list of suspended
suppliers, contractors and consultants;
(m) prepare an annual report on the overall
functioning of the public procurement
system, including a profile of procurement
activities, to be presented to Cabinet and
tabled before Parliament through the
(n) share information and cooperate with other
arms of Government to facilitate the
implementation of Government policies aimed
at improved governance;
(o) conduct, at least annually, a procurement
forum bringing together public sector, private
sector, civil society and development partners
to address issues related to public
(p) perform such other functions as are incidental
or conducive to the attainment of the object
stated in subsection (1).
(3) Nothing in the functions of the Authority under
subsections (1) and (2) shall be construed to include the power to
participate in the award of any specific procurement contract.
(4) In the performance of its functions under this Act the
Authority shall not be subject to the direction or control of any
person or authority.
15. (1) The Authority shall have power, in performing its
functions under this Act-
(a) by notice in writing, to require any party to a
procurement contract to furnish in such form
and manner and within such time as may be
specified in the notice, periodical or other
information, estimates or returns concerning
such contract or such other matters as may
be specified in that notice;
(b) to interview any party to a procurement
contract and require him to furnish such
particulars as the Authority may require;
(c) by notice in writing, to require a party to a
procurement contract to complete a form
contained in the notice with particulars
relating to the contract or such other matter
specified in the notice and to return it in the
manner and within the time specified therein.
(2) A notice referred to in subsection (1 )-
(a) may be served by delivering it to the party to
whom it is addressed or by sending it by
registered post, fax or e-mail to Ms last known
(b) shall state that it is served in exercise of the
powers conferred by this section and shall
include a general statement of the purpose
for which the information, estimates, returns
or particulars are required.
(3) When a requirement to furnish information estimates,
returns or particulars under this Act is made, the information estimates,
returns or particulars shall be furnished by the party concerned or a
person specifically authorised for the purpose by that party.
(4) Subject to this section, every party to a procurement
contract shall, to the best of his knowledge and belief, answer when
so required, all questions put to such party, orally or in writing by the
Chief Executive or an officer of the Authority authorised in that behalf,
not later than the date specified in the notice.
(5) A party to a procurement contract who-
(a) fails to answer a question put to him as
required under this Act or furnishes an
answer to such a question which is false or
misleading in any material respect, knowing
the answer to be false or misleading; or
(b) wilfully obstructs the Chief Executive or any
officer or employee of the Authority in the
performance of any of its functions under
commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine
not exceeding one million leones, or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
16. (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no return or
other commercially sensitive information collected by the Authority
under section 15 shall, subject to subsection (2), be disclosed to any
(2) The return or other information referred to in
subsection (1) may, subject to the directions of the Chief Executive,
(a) to any person if required for the performance
of that person's functions under this Act;
(b) if required by any law or as evidence in any
court of law.
(3) Any officer of the Authority who in the course of his
employment under this Act-
(a) wilfully discloses any data or information
obtained in the course of such employment
to a person not authorised to receive that
(b) uses information obtained in the course of
such employment for the purpose of
speculating in any stock, bond or other
security or any goods or services, before its
release is authorised by the Chief Executive;
(c) otherwise contravenes this section,
commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not
exceeding one million leones or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Part III - PROCUREMENT COMMITTEES AND
17. (1) Procurement-related functions shall be carried out by
persons trained and knowledgeable in procurement, in accordance
with the guidelines and qualification requirements established by
(2) Subj ect to this Act, the procuring entity, including its
concerned officials, shall be responsible for procurement with the
funds at its disposal.
18. (1) A procurement committee shall be established in every
(2) The procurement committee shall be appointed by
the head of the procuring entity and its composition shall be in
accordance with subsection (9).
(3) A procuring entity shall be responsible, and vote
controllers and other officials concerned are accountable, for public
procurement in accordance with this Act and any other enactments
which may be applicable.
(4) The head of a procuring entity shall appoint a staff
member of the entity to act as secretary to the procurement committee,
if the entity does not have a procurement unit.
(5) The secretary to the procurement committee shall take
minutes of meetings of the procurement committee and maintain a file
of all matters considered by the procurement committee.
(6) A procurement committee may delegate to a
procurement unit, authority to make contract award decisions, subject
to such decisions being subsequently reported to and recorded in
the minutes of the procurement committee.
(7) Delegation of the authority shall be expressed in terms
of estimated maximum contract values, which may differ according to
whether the contract is for procurement of goods, works or services.
(8) A procurement committee shall make necessary
arrangements to ensure that timely information on the execution and
conclusion of contracts by a department or division of a procuring
entity, as well as on supplier, contractor or consultant performance is
reported to the procurement committee.
(9) A procurement committee shall consist of five
members, as follows:-
(a) the vote controller, who shall act as the
(b) one senior official of the entity;
(c) the head of finance, accounts or any budget
(d) the head of the procurement unit, who shall
also be secretary to the committee;
(e) a representative of the concerned end-user
department, who shall be a rotating member.
(10) Additional rotating members may be drawn to provide
necessary technical, legal, and business expertise to the procurement
(11) The quorum for a meeting of a procurement committee
shall be three, comprising the Chairman and at least two other members
referred to in subsection (10).
(12) Procurement committees may appoint technical
evaluation committees and advisers to assist the procurement unit in
bid opening procedures, bid evaluation and making recommendations
(13) The functions of a procurement committee shall
(a) verification and approval of proper
procurement planning and preparation of
procurement proceedings carried out by the
(b) consideration and approval of the draft
advertisements and other bidding documents
prepared by the procurement unit;
(c) review and approval of evaluation reports and
contract award recommendations, in cases of
procurement beyond the authority limits of
the respective procurement unit;
(d) rejection of unsuccessful bids;
(e) approval of contracts with a value above the
authority limits of the respective procurement
(f) approval of applications for contract
modifications in the following cases :-
(i) where the original contract award was
subject to procurement committee
(ii) where the value of the modification
exceeds the authority limits applicable
to the procurement unit;
(iii) where the contract modification would
cause the total contract value to
exceedthe authority limits applicable to
the procurement unit;
(g) reporting of procurement activities to the
(h) submitting annually updated databases of
suppliers, contractors and consultants, and
records of prices of the Authority for
(i) such other functions as may be conferred
by any other enactment.
(14) Procurement committees may, upon approval by the
Authority, establish subsidiary procurement committees in district
offices of the procuring entity.
19. (1) A procurement unit shall be established in each
procuring entity, staffed with persons trained and knowledgeable in
procurement and charged with carrying out, on an ongoing basis,
functions related to procurement.
(2) Procuring entities shall ensure that the procurement
units referred to in subsection (1) are established and provided with
adequate staffing and resources.
(3) The functions of procurement units shall include-
(a) planning of procurement;
(b) preparation of invitations to bid and of
(c) publication and distribution of invitations to
(d) receiving and safeguarding of bids;
(e) conducting bid opening procedures;
(f) evaluation of bids, including management of
necessary technical evaluation committees
and advisers to properly evaluate the bids;
(g) performance of secretarial services for the
respective procurement committee;
(h) administering the implementation and
monitoring of contracts, to the extent that is
not carried out by end-user departments;
(i) assessment of the quality of the procured
goods, works and services;
(j) sourcing and profiling of all suppliers,
contractors and consultants, and the
maintenance of a database for that purpose;
(k) such other functions as may be conferred by
any other enactment.
(4) Appointments of staff of the procurement unit are
subject to certification and approval requirements that may be
instituted by the Authority and may be linked to continuing
professional education requirements.
(5) Procuring entities may establish subsidiary
procurement units for subdivisions of the procuring entity, which-
(a) are located in the provinces;
(b) have a particularly large or specialised
(c) operate in practice as an independent entity;
(d) would otherwise operate more effectively
with a subsidiary procurement unit.
20. (1) There is hereby established a body to be known as
the Independent Procurement Review Panel, referred to in this Act as
the "Panel", for the purpose of conducting independent
administrative review of complaints and challenges to award decisions.
(2) The Panel shall consist of three members appointed
by the Minister from among eminent Sierra Leoneans with a
background in public procurement, the Sierra Leone Chamber of
Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, the business community,
university, the legal profession and other relevant fields.
(3) The members of the Panel shall hold office for three
years, but so as to achieve continuity in the work of the Panel, for the
first three years when all the members of the panel would have vacated
office under this section, only one member shall be replaced in each
Part IV- GENERAL PROVISIONS ON PROCUREMENT
21. (1) In order to be awarded a contract, or, if prequalification
proceedings are being held, in order to participate in the procurement
proceedings, a bidder must qualify by meeting the criteria set by the
procuring entity, which may include-
(a) professional and technical qualifications;
(b) equipment availability;
(c) past performance;
(d) after sales service;
(e) spare parts availability;
(I) legal capacity;
(g) financial resources and condition;
(h) professional offences;
(i) assessment by the National Revenue
Authority to ascertain payment of taxes; and
(j) payment of social security contributions.
(2) The qualification criteria set under subsection (1) shall
be applied by examining, through investigation and collaboration
with other Government agencies, whether the bidder does or does
not meet the qualification criteria and not by using a point system for
comparing the relative level of qualifications of participating bidders.
(3) The procuring entity shall be entitled to demand from
potential bidders and applicants for prequalification documentation
reflecting their qualification data.
(4) Any requirement established pursuant to this section
shall be set forth in the prequalification documents, if any, and in the
bidding documents, and shall apply equally to all bidders without
discrimination; and only those criteria stated in such documents shall
(5) A procuring entity may disqualify a bidder if it finds
at any time that the information submitted concerning the
qualifications of the bidder was materially inaccurate or materially
(6) In order to identify persons that are qualified, prior to
the invitation of bids, prequalification shall be used for-
(a) procurement of large or complex works in
which the cost of bid preparation is high;
(b) procurement of particularly high value or
(c) groups of similar items bundled together for
a consolidated purchase.
(7) When prequalification proceedings are held, the
procuring entity shall-
(a) provide to all bidders responding to the
invitation to prequalify, prequalification
documents which shall provide bidders with
the information required to enable them
prepare and submit their applications for
(b) make available to each applicant the results
of the assessment of qualifications and all
applicants that meet the minimum criteria for
prequalification shall be invited to bid.
(8) If prequalification proceedings are not conducted,
post-qualification, in which the procuring entity verifies the
qualifications of the bidder selected for award against the criteria
stated in the bid documents, shall be used.
22. (1) The procuring entity shall respond within two working
days to any request by a bidder for clarification of the bidding
documents, or the prequalification documents, submitted to the
procuring entity within the time specified in the bidding documents
or in the prequalification documents.
(2) Responses to requests for clarification as well as any
modification or any other clarifications of the bidding documents or
of the prequalification documents shall be communicated to all bidders
participating in the procurement proceedings without delay, so as to
allow bidders an opportunity to take the clarifications or modifications
into account in preparing their submissions and if necessary to allow
bidders to do so, the procuring entity shall extend the deadline for
submission of bids or applications to prequalify.
23. (1) To the extent possible, any specifications, plans,
drawings, designs and requirements or descriptions of goods, works
or services shall be based on the relevant objective technical and
quality characteristics, and performance of the goods, works 01
services to be procured; but there shall be no requirement for 01
reference to a particular brand, trademark, name, patent, design, type,
specific origin or producer unless there is no other sufficiently precise
or intelligible way of describing the characteristics of the goods,
works or services to be procured and provided that words such as
"or equivalent" are included.
(2) Any descriptions of the technical or quality
characteristics of the goods, works or services to be procured, and
requirements as to testing, packaging, marking, labelling, or conformity
certification, or symbols and terminology, that are irrelevant to the
performance of the goods or create unjustified obstacles to
participation by qualified bidders, and unnecessarily and without
justification limit competition, shall not be included or used in the
prequalification documents, or bidding documents.
24. The procuring entity shall set the deadline for submission
of bids, applications for prequalification and expressions of interest
so as to allow sufficient time for their preparation and submission,
with a view to maximising competition in accordance with the minimum
periods set in sections 39 and 40.
25. (1) A bid may be rejected only in accordance with this
Act and regulations made thereunder.
(2) A procuring entity may-
(a) reject all bids at any time prior to the
acceptance of a bid;
(b) cancel the procurement proceedings where-
(i) the procurement need has ceased to
exist or changed significantly;
(ii) insufficient funding is available for the
(iii) there is a significant change in the
required technical details, bidding
conditions, conditions of contract or
other details, such that the
recommencement of proceedings is
(iv) insufficient, or no responsive bids are
(v) there is evidence of corruption fraud,
coercion or collusion among bidders;
(vi) cancellation is deemed to be in the
interest of national security.
(3) Before rejecting all bids or cancelling any procurement
proceedings, the procurement unit shall prepare a written request for
approval of the cancellation for submission to the procurement
committee, which shall clearly state-
(a) detailed reasons for recommending
(b) the status of the procurement proceedings,
including in particular, whether bids have
already been opened underbidding methods;
(c) whether new procurement proceedings are
recommended and, if so, the modifications
(4) The reason for rejecting all bids, and for cancelling
procurement proceedings, shall be noted in the record of the
procurement proceedings, and promptly communicated to the bidders.
(5) A procuring entity shall not be liable to a bidder by
reason only of rejection of all bids or cancellation of procurement
proceedings under subsection (2).
(6) If a decision to cancel the procurement proceedings
is taken before the deadline for submission of bids, any bid received
shall be returned unopened to the bidder.
(7) In the event of cancellation or the rejection of all bids
in accordance with subsection (2), the procurement shall not be re-
bid to the same specifications and contract conditions, unless the
cancellation of the initial proceeding is for budgetary or other reasons
unrelated to the specifications and contract conditions, but if the
procurement is to be repeated, the reasons for the cancellation of the
initial proceeding shall be examined and the technical specifications
or contract conditions, or both may be suitably modified prior to re-
26. The procuring entity shall promptly publish in the Gazette
and any newspaper of wide national circulation notice of each contract
award in which the price of the contract exceeds the threshold set in
the First Schedule, indicating the contract price and the name and
address of the successful bidder.
27. The procuring entity shall upon the request of any
unsuccessful bidder, inform the bidder of the reasons for which the
bid was unsuccessful.
28. (1) Subject to this Act, documents, notifications,
decisions and other communication referred to in this Act to be
submitted by the procuring entity to a bidder or by a bidder to the
procuring entity, shall be in writing
(2) The Authority may authorise procuring entities to use
other forms of communication, including electronic communication,
for publication of invitations to bid, transmission of bidding
documents, submission of bids, conclusion of contracts, and payment
but any such other means of communication shall be such as can
preserve a record of the content of the communication, provide an
adequate level of security, and does not unduly restrict bidders'
access to the procurement proceedings, and that other requirements
in this Act and regulations, and other applicable legislation are met.
29. (1) All procuring entities shall undertake procurement
planning, with a view to achieving maximum value for public
expenditures and the other objects of this Act.
(2) The procurement plan to support the procuring
entity's approved programme and budget shall indicate-
(a) contract packages.
(b) estimated cost of each package,
(c) the procurement method, and
(d) processing steps and times.
(3) A procuring entity shall not divide a procurement order
into parts or lower the value of a procurement order to avoid the
application of the procedures for public procurement prescribed in
(4) In accordance with the budget preparation procedures
issued by the Ministry of Finance, all procuring entities shall submit
to the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry responsible for local
government (for local councils) for review and approval, their annual
procurement plans for the coming financial year.
(5) Procuring entities shall, where necessary and on a
quarterly basis, review and update their procurement plans and notify
any modifications to the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry
responsible for local government (for local councils) and the approved
and updated plans shall be submitted to the Authority for publication
in accordance with paragraph (i) of subsection (2) of section 14.
30. The procuring entity shall be responsible for the
1 administration of contracts into which it enters, as well as the
monitoring of the performance of such contracts.
31. (1) Price adjustment is not permitted unless provided for
in the procurement contract to take into account changes in economic
(2) If the procurement contract provides for the possibility
of price adjustment, it shall stipulate the conditions, such as increases
or decreases in the cost of materials, labour, transportation and energy,
in which price adjustment would be permitted; the formulas, and
indices to be referred to in order to determine whether economic
conditions have altered to a significant enough degree to justify a
price adjustment and to identify the amount of increase or decrease;
the frequency with which price adjustments may be implemented;
and procedures to be followed.
(3) The procurement contract may provide that, when
the application of price adjustment leads to a modification exceeding
a stipulated percentage of the initial price or a stipulated percentage
of the balance of the contract, the procuring entity may terminate the
(4) Any price variation shall be subject to approval by
the respective procurement committee.
32. (1) The procuring entity shall preserve all documentation
relating to the procurement proceedings in accordance with applicable
rules concerning archiving of government documentation but at a
minimum, for a period of six years following the date of final completion
of the procurement contract, or from the date of rejection of all bids or
cancellation of the proceeding, as the case may be.
(2) In addition to the documentation referred to in
subsection (1), the procuring entity shall prepare and maintain a
summary report of the procurement proceedings, including to the
(a) a description of the object of the
(b) a list of the participating bidders, their profile
and qualifications, and the qualification
(c) bid prices;
(d) the bid evaluation criteria;
(e) a summary of the evaluation of bids;
(f) summary of any review proceedings and
(g) requests for clarifications, and responses
(h) statement of grounds for cancellation of
procurement proceedings pursuant to
(i) statement of grounds for choice of a
procurement method other than open bidding
or request for proposals for services;
(j) statement of grounds for reduction of bid
(k) information concerning rejection of bids;
(1) such other information as may be required
by the regulations made under this Act.
(3) The portion of the record referred to in paragraphs
(a), (b), (c), (d) and (g) of subsection (2) shall, on request, be made
available to any person after a bid, proposal, offer or quotation has
been accepted or after procurement proceedings have been terminated
without resulting in a procurement contract.
(4) The portion of the record referred to in paragraphs
(e), (h) and (i) of subsection (2) shall, on request, be made available to
suppliers, contractors or consultants that submitted bids, proposals,
offers or quotations, or applied for pre-qualification, after a bid,
proposal, offer or quotation has been accepted or procurement
proceedings have been terminated without resulting in a procurement
(5) The procuring entity shall not disclose-
(a) information, if its disclosure will-
(i) be contrary to law.
(ii) impede law enforcement,
(iii) not be in the public interest,
(iv) prejudice legitimate commercial
interests of the parties, or
(v) inhibit fair competition under this Act;
(b) information relating to the examination,
evaluation and comparison of bids,
proposals, offers or quotations, other than
the summary referred to in paragraph (e) of
(6) Records and documents maintained by procuring
entities on procurement shall be made available for inspection by the
Authority, Anti-Corruption Commission and Auditor-General upon
request; and where donor funds have been utilised for the
procurement, donor officials shall also have access, upon request, to
procurement files for the purpose of audit and review.
33. (1) Any public officer involved in requisitioning, 1
planning, preparing and conducting procurement proceedings and |
administering the implementation of contracts, shall-
(a) discharge his duties impartially so as to
assure fair competitive access to public
procurement by bidders;
(b) always act in the public interest, and in
accordance with the object and procedures
set out in this Act, in the regulations and in
accordance with the Public Service codes of
ethics, if any, and where applicable, the Local
Government Act, 2004;
(c) at all times avoid conflicts of interest, and
the appearance of conflicts of interest, in
carrying out his duties and conducting
himself and immediately disclose any conflict
of interest and excuse himself from any
involvement in the matter.
(d) not commit or abet corrupt or fraudulent
practices, coercion or collusion, including the
solicitation or acceptance of any
(e) keep confidential the information that comes
into his or her possession relating to
procurement proceedings and to bids,
including bidders' proprietary information;
(f) not take up a position of authority in any
private concern with which he undertook
procurement activities for a period of three
years after departure from the procuring
(2) Public officers of a procuring entity shall not
participate as bidders in the procurement proceedings of the procuring
(3) A public officer shall excuse himself from any
participation in a procurement proceeding, where a bid has been
submitted by a bidder who is a close relative of the public officer, or
by a bidder by whom the public officer or the close relative is employed
in a management capacity, or as an agent or in which he is member of
the board of directors, or has a financial interest.
(4) A recusal under subsection (3) shall be effected
immediately the public officer becomes aware of the submission of
such a bid, but not later than the opening of bids; and the requirement
of recusal shall extend to the administration and management of any
procurement contract awarded to such a bidder.
(5) All public officers and other persons involved in
public procurement shall, in accordance with this Act and other
(a) provide full cooperation and disclosure to
the Authority, the National Revenue
Authority, Auditor-General, and other
authorities exercising monitoring and
supervisory jurisdiction over public
procurement pursuant to the laws of Sierra
(b) no later than thirty days from assuming
responsibility and thirty days after leaving
office, make a declaration of their assets and
liabilities in such form as the Anti-Corruption
Commission may determine; the declaration
shall be updated annually as well as
whenever there is a substantial change in
assets and liabilities.
(6) Public officers who contravene this Act and the regulation
made thereunder are liable to applicable administrative
and civil sanctions as well as to prosecution pursuant to
applicable criminal laws, including the Anti-Corruption
34. (1) Bidders and suppliers shall at all times abide by their
obligations under this Act, the regulations, contracts, and other
instruments applicable to their conduct and activities related to
(2) A bidder or a supplier, shall not engage in or abet
corrupt or fraudulent practices, including the offering or giving,
directly or indirectly, of any inducement, the misrepresentation of
facts in order to influence a procurement process or the execution of
a contract, or interference in the ability of competing bidders to
participate in procurement proceedings.
(3) Bidders shall not engage in any activity, prior to or
after bid submission, designed to deprive the procuring entity of the
benefits of free and open competition, including, but not restricted
to, collusion over bidding for opportunities and price fixing, and
coercive, corrupt or fraudulent practices.
(4) A procuring entity shall reject a bid if the bidder offers,
gives or agrees to give an inducement referred to subsection (2) and
promptly notify the rejection to the bidder concerned, the Authority,
and to the relevant law enforcement authorities.
(5) The procuring entity shall not award a contract to a
bidder who is responsible for preparing the specifications or bidding
documents for the contract or supervising the execution of a contract,
or to any affiliate of such a bidder; but this subsection shall not
apply to the various firms (consultants, contractors or suppliers)
which together are performing the supplier's obligations under a
turnkey or design and build contract.
(6) Bidders and suppliers who engage in fraudulent,
corrupt or coercive practices in connection with public procurement
are subject to prosecution pursuant to the applicable criminal laws,
including the Anti-Corruption Act, 2000.
35. (1) The Authority may exclude a bidder or a supplier from
participation in public procurement for a minimum period of one year
and a maximum period of six years after-
(a) consultation with the affected procuring
entity to consider all the facts of the case;
(b) reasonable notice to the bidder or supplier
involved of the cause of the proposed action;
(c) reasonable opportunity for the bidder or
supplier to respond to the proposed action.
(2) A potential bidder or supplier shall not be debarred
from participation in procurement except on the following grounds: -
(a) provision of false information supplied in the
process of submitting a bid;
(b) collusion between the bidder and another
bidder or a bidder and a public officer
concerning the formulation of any part of the
(c) connivance to interfere with the participation
of competing bidders;
(d) misconduct relating to the submission of
bids, including corruption, collusion, price
fixing, a pattern of under-pricing of bids,
breach of confidentiality, and any other
misconduct referred to in section 34;
(e) non-performance of contractual obligations
under a contract deemed serious enough to
warrant debarment, provided that the non-
performance was not due to circumstances
beyond the control of the supplier;
(f) conviction of a criminal offence relating to
obtaining or attempting to obtain a contract
(g) non-settlement of tax obligations after
assessment by the National Revenue
Authority or the evasion of tax by any means;
(h) conviction of a crime related to business or
36. (1) A procuring entity may grant a margin of preference
for the benefit of bids for work by domestic contractors or for the
benefit of bids for domestically produced goods or for the benefit of
domestic suppliers of services;
(2) The margin of preference shall be calculated in
accordance with the procurement regulations and reflected in the
record of the procurement proceedings;
(3) The margin of preference shall be authorised by the
Authority and shall be subject to approval by the Authority.
Part V-METHODS OF PROCUREMENT
37. (1) Public procurement shall be undertaken by means of
advertised open bid proceedings, to which equal access shall be
provided to all eligible and qualified bidders without discrimination
subject only to the exceptions provided in sections 38,39,40 and 41.
(2) It is not permitted artificially to divide procurement
with the intention of avoiding the monetary thresholds established
under to this Act or the regulations or other instruments issued for
the implementation of this Act.
(3) If the procuring entity uses a method of procurement
other than advertised open bidding or, in the case of procurement of
consultant services, a method other than request for proposals, it
shall note in the record of the procurement proceedings the grounds
for the choice of the procurement method.
(4) When the participation of the procurement end-user
or beneficiary community may result in enhancing the economy,
quality or sustainability of the service to be procured, or the very
objective of the project is to create employment and involvement of
the beneficiary community, such end-user or community may
participate in the delivery of services under procedures to be defined
in the regulations.
(5) In the cases referred to in subsection (4), procurement
may be carried out by force account, in which the procurement is
carried out with self-supervision utilising the procuring entity's own
personnel and equipment or those of another government institution.
(6) The cases in which force account may be utilised
include, separately or in combination with any activity-
(a) that, in view of its size, nature, location or
scattered locations (with no local suppliers
available), financing or high demobilization
costs for outside suppliers, does not attract
bidders, at least not at a reasonable price;
(b) that cannot be calculated, or determined in
detail in advance or both such that, if it were
carried out by a supplier, contractor, or
consultant, it would have to bear a large risk;
(c) where the risk of unavoidable work
interruptions is better borne by the procuring
entity than by a supplier or contractor;
(d) where it has been demonstrated that force
account is the only practical method for
constructing and maintaining works under
(e) for a pilot project of a particular nature for
development of a technology or work method
or both that cannot yet be carried out by a
(f) for works that must be carried out without
disrupting existing operations by the
procuring entity's crew familiar with those
(7) Where any procurement of goods, sub-contracted
works or services is required to supplement the force account activity,
that procurement shall be carried out in accordance with the
appropriate provisions of this Act.
38. (1) The open bid proceedings may include a
prequalification stage or apply a post qualification procedure prior
to the award of contract.
(2) The open bid may be carried out in a single stage or in
two stages, but use of the two-stage method is appropriate in the
circumstances outlined in subsection (3); all other methods to be
selected as the circumstances require from this Part.
(3) An open bid may be held in two stages in the following
(a) when it is not feasible to define fully the
technical or contractual aspects of the
procurement to elicit competitive bids; and
(b) when, because of the complex nature of the
goods, works or services to be procured, the
procuring entity wishes to consider various
technical or contractual solutions, and to
discuss with bidders about the relative merits
of those variants before deciding on the final
technical or contractual specifications.
39. (1) In procurement proceedings in which the procuring
entity decides that only domestic suppliers or contractors are likely
to be interested in submitting bids, the procuring entity may employ
national competitive bidding procedures.
(2) The procuring entity is not required to employ
national competitive bidding procedures if the estimated contract
amount is lower than the value threshold specified in the First
The procuring entity may stipulate in the bidding
documents that bidders shall quote only in the local currency and
payments shall be made wholly in the local currency.
(4) At least four weeks shall be allowed for submission
of bids in order to allow sufficient time for the invitation to reach
candidates and to enable them to prepare and submit the bids as
provided in section 24.
40. (1) The procuring entity shall employ international
competitive bidding procedures when the estimated contract amount
is higher than the value threshold specified in the First Schedule.
(2) International competitive bidding may be used
whenever open competitive bidding is used and effective competition
cannot be obtained unless foreign firms are invited to bid.
(3) International competitive bidding shall be in
accordance with the appropriate procedures prescribed in this Act
together with the following:-
(a) the invitation to bid and bidding documents
shall be in English;
(b) the invitation to bid shall be placed in a
newspaper with adequate circulation to
attract foreign competition as provided in
(c) at least six weeks shall be allowed for
submission of bids in order to allow sufficient
time for the invitation to reach candidates
and to enable them to prepare and submit the
tenders as provided in section 23;
(d) technical specifications shall, to the extent
compatible with national requirements, be
based on international standards or
standards widely used in international trade
and in particular shall conform to the
provisions of section 23;
(e) bidders shall be permitted to express their
bids, as well as any security documents to
be presented by them, in their respective
domestic currencies, or in a currency widely
used in international trade and stated in the
(f) general and special conditions of contract
shall be of a kind generally used in
41. (1) Subject to approval by the procurement committee,
restricted bidding may be held in the following cases:-
(a) when the goods, works or services are only
available from a limited number of bidders;
(b) when the time and cost of considering a large
number of bids is disproportionate to the
estimated value of the procurement.
42. (1) When restricted bidding is employed on the grounds
referred to in paragraph (a) of section 41, all known suppliers capable
of supplying the goods, works or services shall be invited to bid.
(2) When restricted bidding is employed on the grounds
referred to in paragraph (b) of section 41, the procuring entity shall
solicit bids from a minimum number of five bidders, if possible.
(3) The procedures for bidding proceedings, as set forth
in Part V, apply to restricted bidding, except to the extent that they are
modified by this section.
43. Request for proposals for services is the method to be
used for the procurement of consultant services, subject only to the
exceptions provided in section 46.
44. The request for quotations method may be used for the
procurement of goods and works-
(a) where the procurement is for readily available
commercially standard goods, not specially
manufactured to the particular specifications
of the procuring entity and the estimated
value does not exceed the amount set in the
(b) when the estimated value of the procurement
of small works, does not exceed the amount
set in the First Schedule;
(c) when the estimated value of the procurement
of services does not exceed the amount set
in the First Schedule.
45. (1) Quotations shall be requested in writing from as many
bidders as practicable, but from at least three bidders.
(2) The request shall contain a clear statement of the
requirements of the procuring entity as to quality, quantity, terms and
time of delivery, as well as any other special requirements.
(3) Bidders shall be given adequate time to prepare and
submit their quotations, but each bidder shall be permitted one
quotation, which may not be altered or negotiated.
(4) A purchase order shall be placed with the bidder that
provided the lowest-priced quotation meeting the delivery and other
requirements of the procuring entity.
46. (1) Public procurement by means of the sole-source !
procurement method is permitted only in the following
(a) when only one supplier lias the exclusive right
to realise manufacture of the goods, carry out
the works, or perform the services to be
procured and no suitable alternative is
(b) for additional deliveries of goods by the
original supplier which are intended either as
parts replacement for existing goods, services
or installations, or as the extension of existing
goods, services or installations where a
change of supplier would compel the
procuring entity to procure equipment or
services not meeting requirements of
interchangeability with already existing
equipment or services;
(c) when additional works, which were not
included in the initial contract have, through
unforeseeable circumstances, become
necessary and the separation of the
additional works or services from the initial
contract would be difficult for technical or
(d) in cases of extreme urgency, provided the
circumstances which gave rise to the urgency
were neither foreseeable by the procuring
entity nor the result of dilatory conduct on
(e) when the services require that a particular
consultant be selected due to his unique
qualifications, or when it is indispensable to
continue with the same consultant.
(2) Use of sole-source procurement on the grounds
referred to in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and(e) of section (1) is subject
to prior approval by the procurement committee.
47. (1) When the procuring entity engages in sole-source
procurement on the grounds referred to in paragraphs (b), (c), (d),
and (e) of subsection (1) of section 46, it shall prepare a written
description of its needs and any special requirements as to quality,
quantity, terms and time of delivery; and shall request submission of
a bid or proposal in writing or both and shall be free to negotiate with
the sole bidder.
(2) Publication in the Gazette, a newspaper of national
circulation and, when feasible, on the internet, of a notice of the
holding of sole-source procurement proceedings is required when
the estimated value of the procurement exceeds the threshold set in
the First Schedule.
48. (1) The invitation to bid, or an invitation to prequalify,
shall be published in the Gazette, national print media of wide
circulation and electronic media, when feasible, and, in the case of
international competitive bidding, also in selected international media
listed in the guidance provided by regulations.
(2) Whenever feasible, and in accordance with the
regulations, invitations to bid or to apply for prequalification shall be
published on the internet and the publication of the invitation shall
run at least for the period of time specified in the regulations.
(3) A procuring entity may limit participation on the basis
of nationality in accordance with regulations and shall include in the
record of the procurement proceedings a statement of the grounds
and circumstances on which it relied.
(4) An international bid in which the participation of
foreign bidders is invited, shall involve publication in the English
language of the invitation to submit bids, or to apply for
prequalification, if such procedures take place, in accordance with
section 21 and the bidding and contract documents are also to be
made available in the English language, shall be held in the following
(i) when the estimated value of the
procurement exceeds the thresholds set
in the First Schedule; or
(ii) when there is no response to a national
(5) The invitation to bid or, as the case may be, the
invitation to prequalify, shall include information on-
(a) the identity and address of the procuring
(b) the nature and time-frame of the procurement,
including the place of delivery of goods or
services, and the location of any works;
(c) the manner of obtaining and the price of the
bidding documents, or, if applicable, the
(d) the place and deadline for submission of bids,
or of applications to prequalify;
(e) such other matters as may be prescribed in
the regulations and standard forms issued
by the Authority.
49. (1) Unless provided otherwise under the regulations,
procuring entities shall use the standard bidding documents listed in
the Second Schedule.
(2) The procuring entity shall provide, in an expeditious
and non discriminatory manner, the bidding documents to all potential
bidders that respond to the invitation to bid or, in the case of
prequalification proceedings, to all bidders that have been
prequalified, and the price that may be charged for the bidding
documents shall reflect only the cost of printing and distributing the
(3) The bidding documents shall inform bidders of -
(a) the nature and time frame of the procurement,
including, but not limited to the technical
specifications or drawings, as the case may
be, terms of reference, the contractual terms
of the procurement, and the manner of entry
into force of the contract;
(b) bidder qualification requirements if a
prequalification procedure was not followed;
(c) information as to site visits and pre-bid
(d) instructions for preparation and submission
of bids, including the deadline for submission
of bids, time and place of bid opening;
(e) components to be reflected in the price, the
currency or currencies in which the bid price
may be stated, and the currency and related
exchange rate to be used for comparison of
(f) the criteria and methodology for evaluation
of bids and the selection of the successful
bidder, which shall all be quantified in
monetary terms or expressed in the form of
pass or fail requirements, if possible, or, where
not possible, by relative weights and when
considering evaluation criteria, the procuring
entity shall consider only the following:-
(i) the bid price, subject to any margin of
preference applied pursuant to section
(ii) the cost of operating, maintaining and
repairing the goods or works, the time
for delivery of the goods, completion of
works or provision of the services, the
functional characteristics of the goods
or works, the terms of payment and of
guarantees in respect of the goods,
works or services;
(iii) the effect that acceptance of a bid would
have on the environment, the extent of
local content, including local
manufacture, labour and materials, in
goods, works or services being offered
by bidders, the transfer of technology
and the development of managerial,
scientific and operational skills;
(g) the preference, if any, for domestic goods and
contractors as outlined in regulations;
(h) any grouping of goods, works or services
into lots and packages and the manner of
evaluation of the lots and packages;
(i) whether alternatives to the technical or
contractual specifications would be
considered and, if so, how those alternatives
would be evaluated;
(j) if suppliers are permitted to submit bids for
only a portion of the goods, works or services
to be procured, a description of the portion
or portions for which bids may be submitted;
(k) the required validity period of bids;
(1) the amount and acceptable forms of any
required bid, performance or other security;
(m) the conditions of contract which will be
entered into with the successful bidder;
(n) notice of conflict-of-interest restrictions and
anti-fraud and corruption rules;
(o) the manner in which bidders may obtain
review of actions, omissions and decisions
of the procuring entity; and,
(p) such other matters as may be required in
regulations, manuals and standard forms
prescribed by the Authority.
50. (1) Subject to subsection (2) of section 28, a bid shall be
submitted in writing, duly signed and in a sealed envelope; and bids
received after the deadline for submission of bids shall be returned
(2) Invitation for prequalification and bidding documents
shall permit submission of applications to prequalify or bids by hand
or mail or by courier at the option of the bidder.
(3) Subject to the policy laid down by the Authority, the
bidding documents may authorise other methods of submission of
bids, such as by electronic mail, as long as the confidentiality and
security of bids are assured, including the prevention of the opening
and reading of bids by anyone until the opening of bids at the time
set in accordance with section 43.
(4) Bids shall remain valid for the period of time indicated
in the bidding documents, but modification or withdrawal of a bid
during the bid validity period is subject to forfeiture of the bid security.
(5) The validity period of a bid may be deemed extended
only on the basis of the agreement of the bidder concerned and a
bidder that agrees to an extension of the validity period of its bid
shall also obtain a corresponding extension of the bid security, if
such a security was required.
51. (1) The bidding documents may require bidders to submit
a bid security, which shall be applied to all bidders, and set in
accordance with the regulations.
(2) Forfeiture of a bid security may be imposed only in
the event of -
(a) a modification or withdrawal of a bid after the
deadline for submission of bids and during
its period of validity;
(b) refusal by a bidder to accept a correction of
an arithmetical error appearing on the face of
(c) failure by the successful bidder to sign a
contract in accordance with the terms set forth
in the bidding documents; or
(d) failure by the successful bidder to provide a
security for the performance of the contract
if required to do so by the bidding documents.
52. (1) Bids shall be opened at the time and place indicated
in the bidding documents, and the time of bid opening shall coincide
with the deadline for submission of bids, or follow immediately
thereafter, allowing a minimum time interval for logistical reasons.
(2) Bidders or their representatives may attend the bid
opening, where the name of the bidder, the total amount of each bid,
any discounts or alternatives offered, and the presence or absence
of any bid security, if required, and essential supporting documents
shall be read out loud and recorded, and a copy of the record shall be
made available to any bidder on request; and any documents with
financial implications must be signed by the chairman and two other
members of the bid opening committee.
(3) No decision regarding the disqualification or rejection
of any bid shall be taken or announced in the bid opening session.
(4) Following opening of the bids, and until the preliminary
decision on award has been notified to the successful bidder, no
bidder shall make any unsolicited communication to the procuring
entity or try in any way to influence the procuring entity's examination
and evaluation of the bids.
53. (1) Following the opening of bids, the procuring entity
shall first examine the bids in order to determine whether the bids are
complete, signed, whether required documents to establish legal
validity and required bid security have been furnished and whether
bids are substantially responsive to the technical specification and
contract conditions set forth in the bidding documents.
Bids which are not complete, not signed, not
accompanied by a bid security in the prescribed form, if one is
required, or not accompanied by essential supporting documents
such as business registration certificates, business licences and tax
receipts, or are substantially non-responsive to the technical
specifications or contract conditions or other critical requirements in
the bidding documents, shall be rejected and excluded from further
evaluation and comparison.
(3) If a prequalification procedure was applied, a bid
received from any entity other than the prequalified bidders shall be
rejected and excluded.
(4) Bids not excluded from consideration under
subsections (2) and (3), shall be evaluated in accordance with the
criteria and methodology stated in the bidding documents.
(5) The procuring entity may seek clarification from any
bidder to facilitate evaluation but shall neither ask nor permit any
bidder to change the price or any other aspect of the bid and if a
bidder amends its bid in any manner, such a bid shall be rejected and
its bid security forfeited.
(6) If there is an arithmetical error, such an error shall be
rectified and the bidder notified but if the bidder refuses to accept
such correction, its bid shall be rejected and the bid security forfeited.
(7) If there is a discrepancy between figures and words,
the amount in words shall prevail unless the discrepancy is due to
misplacement of decimal point, in which case the mistake shall be
rectified and the bidder notified.
(8) In carrying out the evaluation, if there are minor
deviations in any bid which did not merit rejection of bid at the earlier
stage, such minor variation shall be costed, if possible, and the
evaluated cost of such a bid shall then be compared to those of other
bids to determine the lowest evaluated bid.
(9) If the process included a prequalification, the
qualifications of the lowest evaluated bidder shall be verified again
to take account of any change since the original prequalification.
(10) If there was no prequalification, the qualifications of
the lowest evaluated substantially responsive bidder shall be checked
against the criteria specified in the bidding documents; if that bid
fails, the same check shall be applied to the next ranked bid.
(11) The procuring entity shall prepare an evaluation report
detailing the examination and evaluation of bids and identifying the
recommendation for award of contract in accordance with the
evaluation criteria specified in the bidding document.
54 . Information relating to the examination, clarification,
evaluation and comparison of bids shall not be disclosed to suppliers
or contractors or to any other person not involved officially in the
examination, evaluation or comparison of bids or in the decision on
which bid should be accepted, except as provided in subsections (3)
and (4) of section 32 on the record of procurement proceedings.
55. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of subsection (2),
no negotiations shall take place between the procuring entity and a
supplier or contractor with respect to a bid submitted by the supplier
(2) If the lowest evaluated responsive bid exceeds the
budget for the contract by a substantial margin, the procuring entity
shall investigate the causes for the excessive cost and may-
(a) consider requesting new bids; or
(b) subject to approval by the procurement
committee and guidelines issued by
Authority, negotiate a contract with the
lowest evaluated bidder to try to obtain a
satisfactory contract through a reduction in
the scope which can be reflected in a
reduction of the contract price.
56. (1) The contract shall be awarded to the bidder having
submitted the lowest evaluated and substantially responsive bid
which meets only those evaluation criteria as specified in the bidding
Prior to the expiry of the period of bid validity, the
procuring entity shall notify the successful bidder of the proposed
award, which shall specify the time within which the contract must be
signed, subject to any intervening complaints filed in accordance
with Part VII.
(3) Where the value of the contract exceeds the levels set
in the regulations, notice shall be given to the other bidders, specifying
the name and address of the proposed successful bidder and the
price of the contract, but the contract shall not be signed until at least
14 calendar days have passed following the giving of that notice.
(4) If the bidder whose bid has been accepted fails to
sign a written contract, when required to do so, or fails to provide any
required security for the performance of the contract within the
prescribed time limit, the procuring entity shall accept the next ranked
bidder from among the remaining bids that are in force, but in selecting
the next ranked bidder, the procuring entity shall comply with the
provisions of section 52 as appropriate, as well as with the notice
requirements provided in subsection (2).
57. (1) Where the bidding documents require the supplier or
contractor whose bid has been accepted to sign a written procurement
contract conforming to the bid, the procuring entity and the supplier
shall sign the procurement contract within 30 days after the notice
referred to in subsection (2) of section 56 has been dispatched to the
supplier or contractor.
(2) Where a written procurement contract is required to
be signed, the procurement contract shall enter into force when the
contract is signed by the supplier or contractor and by the procuring
(3) Except as provided in subsection (2) of section 56, a
procurement contract in accordance with the terms and conditions of
the accepted bid shall enter into force when the notice is dispatched
to the supplier or contractor that submitted the bid, if it is dispatched
while the bid is in force.
(4) Contracts shall be signed by the head of a procuring
entity, but he may delegate signature of small contracts to the head of
the procurement unit or other senior official of the entity.
58. (1) Where a procurement is to be done by a two-stage
bidding, the bidding documents shall, in the first stage, call upon
bidders to submit initial bids without a bid price, and may solicit
initial proposals relating to the technical, quality or other
characteristics of the goods, works or services, as well as to
contractual terms and conditions of the proposed contract and, where
relevant, the professional and technical competence and qualifications
of the bidders.
(2) The procuring entity may engage in discussions with any
or all bidders whose proposals satisfy the conditions set forth in the
bidding documents with a view to understanding the proposals or to
indicate changes required to make them acceptable and to seek the
bidder's willingness to make such changes; minutes of these
discussions shall form part of the procurement records.
(3) At the end of the first stage, the procuring entity may-
(a) reject those bids which do not, and cannot
be changed to meet the basic requirements,
minimum performance, or required
completion time or have any other weakness
which makes the bid substantially non
(b) modify the technical specifications,
evaluation criteria, and contract conditions,
while seeking to maximise competition and
articulate appropriate evaluation
(4) In the second stage, the procuring entity shall invite
bidders whose bids have not been rejected to submit final bids with
prices responsive to the revised bidding documents.
(5) A bidder, not wishing to submit a final bid, may
withdraw from the bidding proceedings without forfeiting any bid
security that the bidder may have been required to provide, and the
final bids shall be evaluated and compared in accordance with the
criteria and methodology included in the revised bidding documents.
(6) The procedures for bidding set forth in section 57
apply to two-stage bidding proceedings, except to the extent they
are modified by this section.
59. (1) For the purposes of procuring the services of a
consultant, the procuring entity shall prepare a shortlist of 3 to 6
consulting firms, to the greatest extent feasible, comprising consultants
of the same category, and similar capacity and business objectives,
to which it shall provide the request for proposals for services; and
the short-list shall be established from among those who have
capacity to perform the required services, as demonstrated in their
(2) When the estimated value of the procurement exceeds
the threshold set in the First Schedule, in order to establish the
shortlist, the procuring entity shall seek expressions of interest by
publishing a notice in the Gazette, in national print media of wide
circulation, and whenever feasible, on the internet, and where
appropriate, the notice may also be published in a relevant trade
publication or technical or professional journal.
(3) For assignments of a value lower than the threshold
set in the First Schedule, the shortlist may be established from market
knowledge, or other sources of information but in the case of
assignments which have an estimated value above that threshold, or
are particularly complex, an advertisement shall also be utilised.
(4) The request for proposals shall provide shortlisted
bidders with the information necessary to enable them to participate
in the procurement proceedings and to submit proposals that are
responsive to the needs of the procuring entity including, in particular-
(a) the name and address of the procuring entity;
(b) the nature, time frame and location of the
services to be provided, terms of reference,
required tasks and outputs;
(c) the criteria to be used in evaluating and
comparing proposals, and their relative
weights as compared to price;
(d) the contractual terms of the procurement, and
the manner of entry into force of the contract;
(e) instructions for preparation and submission
of proposals, and the place and deadline for
submission of proposals;
(f) the final selection procedures to be applied;
(g) notice of conflict-of-interest restrictions and
anti-fraud and corruption rules, including the
grounds for potential debarment from future
participation in procurement of goods,
services or works that may result from the
assigmnent under consideration;
(h) and such other matters as may be prescribed
in the regulations and standard documents
issued by the Authority.
(5) The price of a proposal shall be considered by the
procuring entity only after completion of the technical evaluation.
60. (1) The selection of the successful proposal shall be
(a) on the technical quality of the proposal, the
consultant's relevant experience and the
expertise of its staff, and the proposed work
methodology, as well as the price of the
(b) on the quality of the technical proposal
submitted within a predetermined fixed
(c) on the basis of the best financial proposal
submitted by the candidates, having
obtained an acceptable technical score pre-
disclosed in the request for proposals.
(2) Detailed procedures shall be set forth in the regulations.
61. When the services are of an exceptionally complex nature
or of a considerable impact on future projects or national economy or
when they may lead to the submission of proposals which are difficult
to compare, the consultant may be selected exclusively on the basis
of the technical quality of his proposal; the use of which method
should be approved by the procurement committee.
62. (1) The contract may be negotiated with the selected
consultant but negotiations may not be simultaneously held with
(2) The procuring entity shall notify its proposed award
to all shortlisted consultants at the same time it notifies the selected
consultant, but where the value of the contract exceeds the levels set
in the regulations, the contract shall not be signed until at least 14
calendar days have passed following the giving of that notice.
(3) The selected consultant shall not be permitted to
substitute key staff, unless both parties agree that undue delay in
the selection process makes such changes unavoidable or that such
changes are critical to meet the objectives of the assignment.
(4) The key staff proposed for substitution shall have
qualifications equal to or better than the key staff initially proposed.
Part VI - COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
63. (1) A potential or actual bidder that claims to have
suffered, or that is likely to suffer, loss or injury due to a breach of a
duty imposed on the procuring entity by this Act, its implementing
regulations and the bidding document, may seek review in accordance
with this Part, at any stage of the procurement proceedings.
(2) An application for review shall not be entertained
unless it identifies the specific act of omission or commission alleged
to contravene this Act or its implementing regulations and the bidding
(3) Where an application for review concerns alleged
improprieties in the solicitation of applications to prequalify, or to
solicitation of bids, which are apparent prior to bid opening, such
applications shall be entertained only if submitted prior to bid opening.
64. (1) Prior to the entry into force of a contract, application
for review shall be made, in the first instance, in writing, to the head
of the procuring entity.
(2) The head of the procuring entity shall not entertain
an application for review unless it was submitted within 14 working
days, or other deadlines set in the regulations, or when the bidder
submitting it became aware of the circumstances giving rise to the
complaint or when that bidder should have become aware of those
circumstances, whichever is earlier.
(3) Unless the complaint is resolved by mutual agreement,
the head of the procuring entity shall suspend the procurement
proceedings and shall, within five working days after submission of
the complaint, issue a written decision, stating the reasons, and, if
the complaint is upheld, indicating the corrective measures to be
(4) If the Head of the procuring entity does not issue a
decision within the time stated in subsection (3), or if the complainant
is not satisfied with the decision of the head of the procuring entity,
the complainant is entitled to submit a complaint to the Independent
Procurement Review Panel pursuant to section 65.
(5) Complaints under subsection (4) shall not be heard
unless submitted to the Independent Procurement Review Panel
within ten working days from the elapse of the time stated in subsection
(3) or from the date on which the entity's decision was communicated
to the complainant.
65. (1) Subject to subsection (4), an application for review
may be brought before the Independent Review Panel in the following
(a) in the form of an appeal by the complaining
bidder against a decision by the head of the
procuring entity, provided that the appeal is
submitted within ten working days of the
date of the decision;
(b) where the head of a procuring entity fails to
render a decision within the required time
frame, provided that the application for review
is filed within ten working days of the expiry
of the time for the decision by the head of the
procuring entity referred to in subsection (3)
of section 64;
(c) in the case where the contract has already
entered into force, any application for review
submitted in the first instance to the
Independent Procurement Review Panel shall
not be entertained unless it is submitted to
the Panel within ten working days or when
the bidder submitting it became aware of the
circumstances giving rise to the complaint or
of when that bidder should have become
aware of those circumstances, whichever is
(2) In order for an application for review to be considered
by the Independent Procurement Review Panel, the application shall
be accompanied by an administrative fee in accordance with the
(3) The Independent Procurement Review Panel shall
make a decision under this section within ten working days after
receiving the complaint, and such decision shall be binding on all the
(4) A complaint may be dismissed for-
(a) failure to comply with any of the requirements
of this Part;
(b) setting forth only allegations that do not state
a valid basis for a complaint, or that do not
set forth a detailed legal and factual
(c) having been filed in an untimely manner,
either at the initial level of review by the
procuring entity, or with respect to deadlines
for filing of a complaint with the Independent
Procurement Review Panel;
(d) concerning contract implementation or
administration rather than contract award;
(e) challenging an affirmative determination of
qualifications as regards a competing bidder.
(5) Unless a complaint is dismissed, the remedies that
may be ordered by the Independent Procurement Review Panel
(a) prohibiting the procuring entity from acting
or deciding in an unauthorised manner or from
following incorrect procedure;
(b) annulling in whole or in part any
unauthorised act or decision of a procuring
entity, other than any act or decision bringing
the contract into force;
(c) reversing a decision by the procuring entity
or substituting its own decision for such a
decision, other than any decision bringing
the contract into force;
(d) award of costs incurred in participating in
the bidding process where the results were
not in accordance with this Act or the
(6) The timely submission of a complaint in accordance
with deadlines set in this section suspends the procurement
proceedings until a decision on the complaint is issued by the
Independent Procurement Review Panel.
(7) The suspension provided by subsection (6) shall not
apply if the procuring entity certifies to the Authority that urgent
public interest considerations, such as natural disasters, medical
emergencies, civil strife and outbreak of war, require the procurement
(8) The certification, under subsection (7) shall state the
grounds for the finding that urgent considerations exist and which
shall be made a part of the record of the procurement proceedings,
and shall be conclusive with respect to all levels of review, except
Part VII - DISPOSAL OF STORES AND EQUIPMENT
66. (1) The head of a procuring entity shall convene a
Board of Survey comprising representatives of departments with
unserviceable, obsolete or surplus stores, plant, equipment and
vehicles which shall report on the items and, subject to a technical
report on them, recommend the best method of disposal after the
officer in charge lias completed a Board of Survey form.
(2) The Board of Survey's recommendations shall be
approved by the head of the procuring entity and the items shall be
disposed of following disposal procedures specified in section 67.
(3) Where items become unserviceable for reasons other
than fair wear and tear, such as through accident or expiry, a set
procedure established by the Board for handling losses shall be
followed before the items are boarded and disposed of.
67. (1) Disposal of obsolete or surplus items shall be by-
fa) transfer to government departments or other
public entities, with or without financial
(b) sale by public bid to the highest bidder,
subject to reserve price;
(c) sale by public auction, subject to reserve
(d) destruction, dumping, or burying as
Part VIII - MISCELLANEOUS
68. (1) The Authority may, by statutory instrument, make
regulations for giving effect to this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), regulations made
thereunder may provide for-
(a) standard bidding documents, request for
proposals and other forms to be used on a
mandatory basis by procuring entities;
(b) the preparation and submission of bids;
(c) the manner of publication of the notice of
procurement contract awards;
(d) the margin of preference in the evaluation of
(e) the preparation and submission of
applications to pre-qualify for bids;
(I) detailed procedures for selection of
consultants using methods other than those
specified in sections 59 to 62;
(g) procurement proceedings on the basis of
(h) the procurement process where one entity or
a specially appointed agent is to procure items
on behalf of another entity;
(i) the amendment of the thresholds for
procurement methods and award of contracts
under the First Schedule;
(j) sample forms of the procurement plans;
(k) print and electronic media acceptable for
publication in compliance with this Act; and
(1) on any other matter connected under this Act
with public procurement.
69. This Act shall apply notwithstanding anything to the
contrary contained in any other enactment.
1. Contract awards shall be published when the estimated
value of the contract is above:
(a) In the case of contracts for the procurement of goods,
Le 300.00 million
(b) In the case of contracts for the procurement of works,
Le 600.00 million.
(c) In the case of contracts for the procurement of services,
Le 300.00 million
(a) In the case of contracts for the procurement of goods,
Le 60.00 million.
(b) In the case of contracts for the procurement of works,
Le 150.00 million.
(c) In the case of contracts for the procurement of services,
Le 60.00 million.
(a) In the case of contracts for the procurement of goods;
Le 600.00 million.
(b) In the case of contracts for the procurement of works,
Le 900.00 million.
(c) In the case of contracts for the procurement of services,
Le 300.00 million.
(a) In the case of contracts for the procurement of goods,
Le 600.00 million
(b) In the case of contracts for the procurement of works,
Le 900.00 million.
(c) In the case of contracts for the procurement of services,
Le 600.00 million.
The solicitation of expressions of interest is required when the estimated
value of the consultants' services is above Le 600.00 million.
6. Approval of Contract Awards
Type of contract
Less than 15
Head of Procurement Unit or
Head of Procuring Entity
Less than 30
Head of Procurement Unit or
Head of Procuring Entity
Less than 6
Head of Procurement Unit or
Head of Procuring Entity
SECOND SCHEDULE - STANDARD BIDDING DOCUMENTS
(d) Health Goods
(e) Information Technology (IT) Goods
(a) Request for Proposals for small contracts (less than Le 300.00 million)
(b) Request for Proposals for large contracts (above Le300.000 million).
Passed in Parliament this 2nd day of December, in the year of our Lord two
thousand and four.
J. A. CARPENTER,
Clerk of Parliament.
This Printed Impression has been carefully compared by me with the Bill
which lias passed Parliament and found by me to be a true and correct printed copy
of the said Bill.
J. A. CARPENTER,
Clerk of Parliament.
Printed and Published by the Government Printing Department, Sierra Leone.
Gazette No. 70 of 16th December, 2004.