Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has cancelled 21 out of 34 tenders flighted this year to ensure that Government is not fleeced but gets value for money after some of the suppliers had highly inflated prices while others did not meet procurement standards.
The development comes after Government took a firm position not to pay for goods and services that have inflated prices or priced using the parallel market rates.
Some of the tenders that were cancelled at UBH include those for the supply of electrical items, stationery, furniture, delivery of meat and beef products as well as delivery of fruits, vegetables and groceries.
Others were on the supply of linen and bedding, delivery of x-ray material, delivery of surgical sundries, delivery of theatre equipment, delivery of bandages, gloves, tablets and injectables.
UBH also cancelled a tender for the refurbishment of mortuary and kitchen cold rooms, among others.
In an interview, acting UBH chief executive officer Dr Harrison Rambanepasi, said the cancellation of tenders is meant to ensure that the hospital gets real value for money.
“We have three scenarios why some of the tenders were cancelled. The first one is that we had to align with the Ministry of Health and Child Care policy that surgical and pharmaceutical items have to be procured only from the NatPharm as opposed to private suppliers. That is why we cancelled things like procurement of gloves, tablets and injectables,” said Dr Rambanepasi.
“Secondly, other tenders were also cancelled after suppliers did not meet the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe standards and thirdly, we cancelled some of the tenders who met the
standards but had inflated their prices. We cancelled those tenders to ensure the hospital and Government get value for money.”
He said the decision to cancel inflated tenders is in sync with Government’s position that public institutions should get value for money.
Dr Rambanepasi said while the hospital has given several contractors tenders, upon evaluating prices it discovered that the prices were too high and had to be cancelled.
“This will send a message to suppliers that if they want to do business with Government they have to provide competitive prices. Genuine suppliers will continue to do business with Government and get value for money especially now that the rates have stabilised. Some of the tenders were priced at three times the market value so we really did not have a choice,” said Dr Rambanepasi.
He said the hospital is alive to the fact that cancellation of tenders impacts on the smooth running of hospitals.
“It obviously affects but like I said in terms of drugs and pharmaceuticals which happen to be the most critical we have Natpharm as the alternative. The issue of following tender regulations is also important for Government departments and where value for money is not guaranteed we have no option but to cancel,” he said.
Dr Rambanepasi said the chief executive officer has to make sure that Government is not fleeced in awarding tenders.
He said the hospital procurement committee led by the deputy director of procurement conducted an assessment before advising the chief executive officer of the need to cancel the tenders.
Public policy expert and Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) executive director Dr Gorden Moyo said there is a need to revamp the tender system and strengthen laws.
Dr Moyo said there is also a need to change the boards that approve tenders as some of them have stayed for too long and are able to manipulate the systems. Last month, Parliament cancelled an inflated tender for the supply of laptops and desktop computers and blacklisted the companies involved.
Blinart Investments Private Limited which wanted to supply 79 desktop computers and Mid-End Computers and Hardware wanted to supply 173 laptops were blacklisted for outrageous pricing of products.
The laptops were each valued at US$9 264,48 while desktop computers were each valued at US$3 076,61. — @nqotshili
Article Source: The Chronicle