Treasury demands reports of lockdown procurement

03 June 2020 | Economics



The ministry of finance will demand full reports from public entities, ministries, agencies and offices detailing procurement expenditure incurred during stage one of the State of Emergency, its spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu said.

Public entities will need to furnish the public procurement unit within the ministry of finance with the information, he explained.

“In line with the provisions of section 7 (2)(a) of the Public Procurement Act, the Public Procurement Unit is sending out request for information to Public Entities to submit reports on all procurements carried out under stage one of the lockdown,” he said.

According to him, the information was required to allow the unit to assess whether ethical bidding took place during stage one of the lockdown.

“The requested information is needed to allow the Procurement Policy Unit to conduct evaluation and audits as well compliance issue. This will place us in a better position to ascertain whether ethical behaviour was adhered to.”

A monitoring exercise would be carried out, he said.

“As mandated by the Public Procurement Act, we will carry out a monitoring exercise and investigation of cases reported to the Public Procurement Unit to ensure compliance,” Shidhudhu said.

The ministry pointed out that the exercise would not be easy as some public entities were able to carry out direct procurement.

“However, this is a challenge during the state of emergency where some institutions have been exempted from normal procedures to carry out direct procurement. We are encouraging public institutions to still requests for three quotations and select the cheapest based on technical capabilities.”

The ministry limited spending on goods and services not deemed critical or essential during stage one of lockdown.

“All procurement of goods, works and services must be put on hold except for the procurement of goods, works or services that are aimed at curbing the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Shidhudhu.

The directive was communicated to all accounting officers of public institutions, ministries and state agencies and has been in effect since 27 March.

The directive did not elaborate how essential goods, works and services would be procured and how the successful bidders would be selected.

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