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Procurement procedures need a touch of professionalism

Procurement procedures need a touch of professionalism

The first entities, to appear before the PPRA board of directors, are Air Tanzania Corporation, Architects and Quantity Surveyors Registration Board and Tanzania Ports Authority.According to a PPRA communication, the entities were found in serious breach of the Public Procurement Act during the audits for the financial year that ended on June 30, 2011.The board will also meet with UWASA Morogoro and Masasi District Council for having been found in serious breach of the Public Procurement Act.

Others to appear before the Board soon are the Contractors Registration Board, Engineers Registration Board, the High Court of Tanzania, Institute of Judicial Administration, BAKITA and Kibaha Town Council. PPRA states in its Procurement Journal that procuring entities with poor performance have been summoned to meet with the Board over the audit reports in accordance with Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2004.

The latest move is a result of the audits conducted in 106 procument entities in the fiscal year of 2009/2010, of which 36 of them are MDAs, 51 are Public Authorities and 19 are Local Government Authorities (LGAs). The summons come hardly a month after Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda warned local government authorities and other public institutions engaged in procurement malpractices.

The Premier said the government will clamp down on malpractices found rampant in procurement and supplies departments adding that officials in those areas should be warned. He said that a recent procurement audit focusing on 174 procurement entities in ministries, regions, independent departments and agencies revealed that the level of compliance to the Public Procurement Act, 2004 was low, and only 68 per cent of them were given a clean bill of health.

He told them that 39 entities scored over 80 per cent, 115 scored between 50 and 80 per cent while 20 of them did not make it to 50 per cent. He said the areas where the entities performed poorly were procurement planning, establishment of a procurement monitoring unit, quality assurance, contract management as well as the publication of awards. “The report which also included value for money audits in 136 construction projects including 81 road projects, 33 building projects, 13 irrigation projects and seven bridge projects revealed that only 61 projects, representing 44.9 per cent, were implemented in adherence to the Law,” he said.

Premier Pinda added that 59 projects, an equivalent of 43.4 per cent, performed averagely while 16 projects or 11.8 per cent projects were poorly implemented. Mr Pinda said the consequences of inefficiency and malpractices in procurement and materials management results into unnecessary government expenditure. He cited dubious transactions in some procurement entities where a total of 238.84 million shillings was paid for non-existing projects in Bahi, Geita, Magu, Mvomero and Sengerema. Mr Pinda said the Controller and Auditor General’s reports on the other hand had unearthed huge losses the government incurs year after year through procurement.

“For the financial year ending June 30, 2010, the CAG cited instances of non-compliance with Public Procurement Act, 2004 by ministries and departments,” he said. The Prime Minister decried frequent purchases based on direct shopping or quotations, instead of competitive tendering; lack of planning, ineffective tender boards and inadequate record keeping on procurement procedures. “The report indicates that non-execution or delays hindered the completion of contracted works in a number of capital projects and contracts to the sum of 1.5bn/-.

This was caused by inadequate supervision and monitoring, poor planning and design at the initial stages of the contract or project. “The need for an efficient, transparent and cost effective procurement system in the country cannot be over-emphasised. In this regard, I urge PPRA to work together with CAG to help the Government address the problem of non-compliance to the Public Procurement Act that causes a heavy loss of public funds,” he explained.

Mr Pinda added that the government entities should improve their compliance with procurement laws by at least 80 per cent. The recent National Governance and Corruption Survey Report indicates that public procurement and contracting sectors are prone to grand corruption and that the tendering process is not fair, with the average procurement contracts involving unofficial payments of around 10 per cent of the contract value.

The government has said completion of the 15 ...

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Mwandishi: ORTON KIISHWEKO

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