HARARE – Violation of procurement procedures by a procuring entity now attracts a maximum fine of $5 000 and a jail term not exceeding 12 months, a government official has said.
George Guvamatanga, the permanent secretary in the Finance ministry, said every procuring entity shall plan with a view to achieving maximum value for public expenditure so that procurement is carried out within available resources.
“Every procurement plan for each ministry is derived from the annual budget. Therefore, goods receipting should follow a contract award and where advance payments are
made, appropriate transactions into suspense accounts are effected,” Guvamatanga said at a public procurement indaba.
He said a procuring entity that initiates or engages in procurement proceedings without being authorised or a person who induces a procuring entity to initiate without authorisation shall be guilty of an offence.
According to Guvamatanga, unlawful disclosure of information relating to pre-bid qualifications shall be liable to a fine of not more than $5 000 and a six months imprisonment period.
Guvamatanga said it is envisaged that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, which seeks to tighten, reorganise and improve the procurement system, will become effective on January 1, 2019.
“This will dispense with the former dispensation, which had inherent weaknesses that resulted in government awarding tenders to undeserving companies and individuals to the detriment of cost considerations and service delivery,” he said.
He said he hoped that the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill, which is currently before Parliament, is passed in the first quarter of 2019.
“The Bill seeks to professionalise the manner which public entities carry out their day to day functions, as well as rationalise the remuneration payable to members and employees of such public entities,” he said.
Guvamatanga added that they will also do away with the unsustainable remunerations that board members formally award themselves.
The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) is a statutory body mandated by government to provide for the control and regulation of public assets to ensure transparency in procurement.
The authority commenced operations on January 1, 2018 following the disbanding of the tender board.