Source: PRAZ makes headway on fine-tuning procurement | The Herald
THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) says it has made progress on efforts to eliminate loopholes in the public procurement mainly, which was characterised by overcharging of goods and services to the Government.
PRAZ chief executive officer (CEO), Clever Ruswa revealed this at a Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets training workshop for media practitioners on Friday.
The workshop sought to sensitise the media on the provisions of the reformed Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDPA) and to also clarify the objectives and provisions of the act.
Between May and July 2022, the public procurement regulator was criticised for sleeping on duty after forward and overpricing by suppliers to the Government became rampant, as businesses tried to beat the impact of inflation.
The wayward behaviour prompted the Treasury authorities to put a blanket ban on supplies from firms that practised forward pricing on August 3, 2022, first scrutinising all invoices for pricing anomalies prior to making payment.
Mr Ruswa highlighted that the regulator had made inroads in curbing the rent-seeking behaviour by many suppliers.
He said that the regulator had sanctioned 19 errant companies since last year’s procurement delinquency activities and were all recommended for debarment.
Mr Rushwaya further indicated that the value-for-money exercise, as required by the Government, had instilled some sanity in the public procurement segment.
“As a regulator, we did our due processes and our investigations where three out of 19 are now cleared while the remaining are still battling to justify the wayward behaviour they were engaging in.
“I am happy that from where we seat as a regulator working with other arms of government and other statutory bodies we are now putting our efforts to curb this kind of behaviour, mind you monitoring and Treasury authorities want to bring stability in the country and some were trying to use procurement as a gap for their short term gains,” said Mr Ruswa.
Mr Cliff Gondo, capacity building director at PRAZ said the regulator had come up with a strict sanctions framework against corruption and malpractices by public officers.
“…so there are now sanctions and one of the areas that I want to bring to your attention is, we now have a list of blacklisted suppliers, some now even have permanent debarment.
“Whatever they will do the company will never be able to supply the government, and this serves as a warning to other errant bidders,” said Mr Gondo.
He further noted that the regulator was striving to ensure fair evaluation and that bidders are awarded an equal opportunity to tenders regardless of the size of the entity.
“Bidders must be given equal opportunities, and we are saying everyone must be afforded an opportunity. We are saying it is about capacity and equal opportunities to allow people to participate , we are not saying businesses must just be given tenders but they must be given an opportunity to participate.
“We are saying this because of the way small businesses are portrayed, they are portrayed like they do not know how to execute duty, there are some small jobs, which are done best by small businesses, there is nothing wrong if small entrepreneurs win the race,” he said.
The workshop also aimed to clarify roles and responsibilities of persons involved in public procurement processes