Burundi : Strengthening the skills and knowledge of civil servants is a priority

Efficient and transparent public procurement requires qualified staff who understand the issues involved. Burundi seems to have understood this. During Public Procurement Week (12-17 February), the Director General of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (ARMP) stressed that his country is doing everything in its power to offer the staff concerned the opportunity to learn and apply new knowledge and skills to do their jobs better.

This aspect, and the one relating to the best strategy to be implemented to «offer individuals the opportunity to learn and apply new knowledge and skills to do their job better», are the major projects  of Burundi’s Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (ARMP), outlined by its Director General at the opening of the week dedicated to Public Procurement (Procurement Week).

It was held from 12 to 17 February in Bujumbura. Senegal was represented by the Director General of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (ARCOP), Mr. Saer Niang. More than 150 delegates from the public and private sectors, professional organizations, representatives of state institutions from across the continent and experts from other parts of the world took part in this major public procurement event. The Honourable Nduwimana Jean Claude gave an overview of ARMP’s situation in Burundi, outlining the challenges it faces: «insufficient material and human resources to ensure effective national coverage; insufficient staff capacity-building; and a lack of commitment on the part of some public procurement players to ensuring strict compliance with the law on contracts».

All these shortcomings make the theme of the meeting, «investing in human capital to improve the performance of public procurement», so relevant and of vital interest to Burundians, in the opinion of the head of ARMP Burundi.

According to him, «the management of human capital opens up a new avenue for improving the overall performance of public procurement», which requires highly specialized and varied skills, some of which are listed by the Honourable Nduwimana Jean Claude, who mentions legal expertise, in depth knowledge of complex contract procedures and public procurement procedures; the ability to analysis, evaluate and summary; interpersonal skills; organizational skills; rigour and autonomy.

This is why, in his speech, he called on the Burundian government to consider training as an investment rather than a current expense. Greater involvement by the State should consist of setting
up professional procurement bodies and giving them the means to enhance the professionalism of their members, as well as support for education and training establishments in the area of procurement and in the development and revision of curricula to ensure that they meet the needs and challenges of the market.

The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to exchange views on access to public procurement for Burundi’s women-owned SMEs, public procurement and program budget management, public-private partnerships, dispute resolution and digitization, among other topics.

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