OGP-Local Gamechanging Public Procurement in AMAC
After a successful first cycle Action Plan that opened up citizens in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to have the opportunity to co-create governance through citizens participation in budget making and through voting for citizens prioritized needs and projects, citizen’s participation in budget making has improved truth and trust in governance and also allows citizens, involvement in the electioneering process.
Through a public survey conducted by DEAN initiative, citizens were asked various questions among which was, “What should AMAC OGP-Local Action Plan II Focus on?”
The above chart shows the response from citizens, Open Contracting Public Procurement and Anti Corruption and Integrity both had 21.6% but we went for Open Contracting and Public Procurement as AMAC had done Anti Corruption and Integrity in their first Action Plan Cycle. With this survey citizens expressed their desire to actively participate in the procurement process of the Area Council as a way of engaging in the Government hidden system for projects, and calling for a strengthened and accountable procurement process and project implementation tracking mechanism.
The above survey birthed the Second Cycle of AMAC OGP Local Action Plan which aims to involve citizens in public procurement and making its Contracting System open to all for proper citizen inclusion. As AMAC’s OGP CSO partner, DEAN Initiative collaborated with AMAC to hold a two day workshop to develop its OGP Action Plan II.
The Action Plan II is focused on Open Contracting which is aimed at encouraging accountability and transparency in procurement processes in the council and to further encourage citizens participation in the budgetary process.
Andie Okon from Open Contracting cleared the air on what Open Contracting is. She further emphasized why it is important for Women and People Living with Disability (PWDS) to be actively involved in this process as there should be gender balancing in the procurement system.
The Executive Director of DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael said the workshop is targeted at establishing the duty and presence of the citizen into a people-centered budget and procurement at the local government level.
Semiye Michael further stated that “it is essential for projects and contracts to be free of malfeasance and open to inclusion of women and people living with disability (PWDs) as well as all contracting processes.” There are roles in which the local government should smash-hit in development, such as primary education, primary health care, water and sanitation activities at community level. This and more is what DEAN Initiative aims at using the OGP to achieve at the governance level of the local government.
The Council Chairman represented by his deputy and the Director of Administration AMAC, Mr. Attahiru Ibrahim, in their speeches stated that the Council was committed to promoting OGP with the people at the grassroot, that the council is also committed to achieving the OGP plans as they are committed to ensure an Open Procurement Process for everyone to participate.
DEAN Initiative hopes to encourage citizens’ inclusion and active participation across all levels of government, as this will reshape our governance system and make leaders accountable to the people by providing them with relevant knowledge and tools to engage elected officials.
When completed, the Action Plan will be hosted on the AMAC page of the global OGP website for global tracking and referencing.
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