The head of the National Public Procurement Authority, Mr. Swarray is in a cold war with a local rice supplier to the country’s Correctional Department.

He has been accused of terminating the contract of the Sierra Leonean and awarding it to a Lebanese businessman and claimed that the price per bag of the Sierra Leonean supplier is far higher than that of the Lebanese businessman. Similarly, Mr. Swarray claimed that the quality of rice supplied by the Lebanese businessman is improved and of better quality than what is supplied by the Sierra Leonean rice supplier.

These claims levied by the head of the Country’s National Public Procurement Authority have been challenged. Not only is the head of the NPPA accused, but also the Director General of the Prison Department. Both of them have been accused of jointly and clandestinely terminating the rice supply contract to the annoyance of the Sierra Leonean rice supplier who feels that since he is supplying the same quality of rice like the Lebanese businessman, he should not be treated this way. Besides, the Lebanese businessman is supplying the same quality of rice to both the police and the military, therefore for the prison rice contract to be awarded to the same person again is considered unfair. The incompatibility of the prices if rice supplied became one of the burning issues that the NPPA Boss was not able to resolve and ended up showing bias to one of the suppliers. For the Lebanese businessman the NPPA Boss approved an increase in the sum of Le415,000 per 50 kg per bag of rice for the police and the military that Government should pay to the Lebanese businessman and for the Sierra Leonean rice supplier, he approved Le365,000 for the Prison Department. Both contractors are buying rice from the same importers of long standing in the country.

According to Standard Times, the company has been in rice importation business for over thirty-six years. From this company, both suppliers are buying rice that is supplied to the Prison, Police and the Military. So, the unanswered question is why should the price for the Lebanese rice supplier be higher than the Sierra Leonean rice supplier?

The yardstick used to determine the pricing system has not been explained by the NPPA Boss, as he claims to have the prerogative to adjust and re-adjust. The situation has become a stalemate with the NPPA Boss having sole authority to determine who should survive and continue doing business and who should not survive.