Source: Procurement preparation and planning | The Herald August 1, 2019
Procurement planning is required for procurement of goods, works, non-consultancy services, consultancy services and joint venture projects.
Part IV of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) Act [Chapter 22:23] and Section 7 of the Regulations outline the public procurement preparation and planning.
Procurement planning provides a mechanism to decide what the Procuring Entity will acquire, when and how within the allocated budget for the financial year.
The procurement planning process should be led by the Procurement Management Unit (PMU) for each procuring entity but will involve discussion with all relevant staff including the user departments, technical experts and those responsible for budgets.
The procurement cycle follows specific steps for identifying a requirement or need through the final step of the award of the contract.
The absence of budgeted or allocated funds shall not inhibit a procuring entity from concluding a framework agreement, as long as any orders made in pursuance of such agreement are, on the date of the order, financed by budgeted or allocated funds.
Aligning procurement to the Budget
Before initiating proceedings for a procurement contract that will commit the entity to make payments in subsequent financial years, a PE shall obtain approval from the Minister responsible for Finance, where the procuring entity is a Ministry or Department of Government or such other person as may be prescribed.
Management must ensure that funds for the procurement are included in budgets for subsequent financial years.
Planning of procurement
According to Section 21 of the PPDPA Act, Procuring Entity shall plan its procurement with a view to achieving maximum value for public expenditure so that the procurement is carried out within available financial resources and other applicable limitations and at the most favourable time.
Before commencing any procurement process, a Procuring Entity shall investigate whether or not its requirements can be met internally, for example by the transfer of goods from one department to another, and ensure accurate estimate of the cost of the procurement process, including the cost of any contingencies.
Annual procurement plan
Section 22 of the Act makes it mandatory that, for each financial year and no later than one month after the end of such, a procuring entity shall prepare a procurement plan which shall be in accordance with a template prepared by the Authority.
The law requires that procurement plans be published on the PRAZ and entities website.
Individual procurement plan
In addition to its annual procurement plan prepared in terms of section 22, a procuring entity shall prepare an individual procurement plan for each individual procurement above US$50 000.00 in accordance with a template prepared by the Authority.
Identification of procurement method during planning stage
Section 7 of the PPDPA regulations states that, an annual procurement plan referred to in section 22 of the PPDPA Act shall contain a detailed breakdown of the procurement requirement and a schedule of the anticipated delivery, implementation and completion dates for the procurement requirement.
It is prudent for the procuring entity to ensure that, the estimated price of the procurement requirement and, where applicable, the individual lots including the proposed procurement method is considered, in accordance with the Act, with where applicable a justification for the use of any method other than competitive bidding or request for proposals for consultant services.
Consideration must be given when estimating the time required for each stage in the procurement cycle, taking into account publication requirements including the time needed for any necessary approval.
Section 94 sub-section 4 of the regulations states that, Procuring Entity which, without lawful excuse, engages in procurement proceedings that are not specified in its annual or individual procurement plan prepared in terms of section 22 or 23 of the Act shall be guilty of an offence.