Govt open to improve value for money audits

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Govt open to improve value for money audits

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has said his ministry is open to proposals that will improve the value for money audit meant to ensure that Government get fair returns in its procurement process.

Prof Ncube said this in the National Assembly on Tuesday after Murehwa West representative, Cde Farai Jere asked whether the current process of obtaining the value for money was not a repetition of the adjudication done in the initial stages of tendering.

“It (procurement) goes through a rigorous tendering process whereby you are then awarded an order by the State Procurement Board (now Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe).  The (value for money) issue is, at the tail end of the process, it will be more like we are repeating what has been done during the adjudication period. Why can we not put it at adjudication stage so that it also gives confidence to the banking system?” he asked.

He added that financial institutions were no longer confident to lend to suppliers as it was no longer certain that they would be paid even after winning a tender.

Prof Ncube said the current audit process would remain in place but was open to suggestions to improve it.

“As I said earlier, we are open to suggestions if it will improve the efficiency of the process, but we do not want to be involved in the cumbersome procurement process.

“We just want to check financial issues that are very clear in terms of value for money by comparing whatever the value of the contract is; whatever is available out there in the Budget so that they can check for competitive pricing as well as deal with any possibilities of corruption.  I hear you well and we will look into that.  I think your proposal is good,” he said.

The value for money audits were adopted by Government in 2022 to curb over pricing and forward pricing by some suppliers of ministries and Government agencies.

The audits have saved Government over $500 billion.