Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sikaneta calls a well organized procurement system

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 Government says a well organized procurement system can help in making significant savings  for the State in the face of corruption and shrinking budgets.

Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Susan Sikaneta says an effective and efficient
procurement system also contributes to good governance by increasing public
confidence that funds are well and prudently utilised.

Ms Sikaneta said this in Siavonga today when she closed a five-day workshop for
officers drawn from government departments, parastatal organizations and schools who
under went training in tender  regulations and procurement procedures at Lake Kariba
Inns.

Ms Sikaneta stated that in 1993 government instituted reforms aimed at making the
procurement system more transparent and efficient , and increasing the
accountability of public officers by strengthening institutional capacity.

She said existing procurement systems are full of flaws and are subject to abuse
largely due to weak and inconsistence enforcement of the prevailing rules.

She noted that the need for such training workshops cannot be over emphasized if
Zambia is to develop.

Ms Sikaneta state that government has placed particular emphasis on improving the
procurement process in the public sector by holding such training workshops.

Ms Sikaneta also said the lack of planning in public institutions and the absence of
an effective procurement system has led to mismanagement and waste of government
resources.

She cited schools and some departments who have approved contracts way above their
thresholds.

She said such public institutions have engaged and paid unscrupulous supplies
upfront for materials which are never delivered thereby defrauding government.

The permanent secretary said such cases are not only a lose to government and the
intended beneficiaries but also to the procurement cadre as their integrity is
questioned when such dishonest practices are brought to light.

Ms Sikaneta, who also presented certificates of attendance awarded to the 37
participants urged them to seriously utilize the knowledge to improve the
performance of their procurement units in their respective organizations.

And Zambia National Tender Board Deputy Director for Goods and Services Shaderick
Shawa disclosed that the institution will soon change its name to ‘Zambia Public
Procurement Authority” once government concludes looking at the revised procurement
Act.

Mr. Shawa said the changes occurring require that all officers in public
institutions and those that fall under it get familiar with their operations.

He disclosed that ZNTB has so far held a series of workshops on tender regulations
and procurement regulations throughout the country and is now only remaining with
Luapula province.

Mr. Shawa admitted that procurement procedures in many government institution were
been flouted and this has posed a challenge to the organization.

He however said under the revised act the organization will work towards eliminating
such incidents and make them accountable to the public.

“This workshop is designed to promote awareness on the role of government
procurement procedures and tenders regulations as enshrined in the Zambia National
Tender Board act 394 of the laws of Zambia.

“It is also aims to enhance participants’ awareness of key concepts principles and
practices applicable to government procurement and exchange information on the
practice prevailing in our institutions”.

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