Dear President Sirleaf
After considerable thought and soul-searching, I have decided to resign from my position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC). I can assure you it was not an easy decision to make.
As CEO of a major integrity institution on the frontline in the fight against corruption in Liberia, the past five years have been very challenging, yet rewarding. I have enjoyed working for the Government and people of Liberia in helping shape the Procurement Reform Agenda, which regulates all forms of public procurement and Concessions processes. Additionally, I have led a very successful team of dedicated professionals in providing training and customer service to Ministries and Agencies in ensuring full compliance with the PPC Act, 2010.
I am proud of the level of progress the Commission has made under my leadership in achieving its mandate.
As you are aware, we have an underdeveloped private sector and the public sector is essentially the only game in town. This attracts all kinds of selfish interests and with that comes the risk of rent-seeking actors attempting to use public resources for personal gain. The absence or weakness of institutional checks and balances leaves the country at the mercy of the personal morality of its actors. Public procurement and Concessions granting in Liberia, especially given our history, is about stability, and peace. I feel honored to have been a part of the team charged with ensuring that benefits accrue to the people of Liberia by promoting competition, fairness, equal access without discrimination, and integrity in procurement and Concessions granting and preventing waste and abuse of public funds. I will always look back with affection, satisfaction and pride at our accomplishments:
Spearheaded the amendment and restatement of the Public Procurement and Concessions Act (PPCA)in October 2010, to allow for easier implementation by practitioners, and better enforcement by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC). Erected several billboards around Monrovia and its environs as part of a rigorous awareness campaign to enhance the knowledge of local government authorities, and the public in general, on the provisions of the PPCA and the benefits to be accrued from strict adherence.
Hosted for two consecutive years the private sector workshop on public procurement to foster competition and promote the development of Liberia through private sector entities. There is now a general appreciation in government and the general public that public procurement is intended to create benefits for all;
As a result of enhanced public procurement procedures, many donors and international partners now recommend the application of the PPCA to funding, which they provide programs and projects being implemented by the government. The UNDP has transitioned from direct implementation modality to national implementation modality, emphasizing the level of effective public procurement regulation. Liberia significantly progressed according to Transparency International’s Corruption index for 2012 due to enhanced public procurement procedures.
There are two projects that I feel duty-bound to oversee and complete (Regulations/Step-by-Step Manuals & Strategic Plan). It would be unfair of me to leave those undone. I suggest an effective date of July 1. If, however, you need more time to find a replacement, I am willing to extend that date by two weeks. On the other hand, if you feel that an earlier departure would be more convenient to you, I would certainly understand.
I value the experience that I have received at the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission. The time I have spent at the PPCC has been most rewarding and helpful in my career, and I hope that my contributions have been constructive. I cannot thank you enough for all that I have learned and all the opportunities you have generously bestowed upon me during the past five years. Warmest personal regards and best wishes for continued success.
Peggy Varfley Meres