Sierra Leone - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2021-09-14

Selling to the Public Sector

The National Public Procurement Authority (https://nppa.gov.sl/) regulates and monitors public procurement and advises the government on public procurement issues. The challenge in regulating procurement is that procurement entities fail to strictly follow procedures outlined by the authority. It is the objective of the National Public Procurement Authority to monitor and evaluate all tender processes and awards of contracts to ensure strict adherence to procedures and avert corruption, which is prevalent. Requests for proposals are usually published in newspapers and sometimes internationally and bids proposals are submitted in English. Sierra Leone is a party to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement, signed in July 1995 and the work of the National Public Procurement Authority has greatly improved transparency and accountability in government procurement since it was established.

U.S. companies bidding on Government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales. Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks (PDF). The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

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