New law to beef up SPB powers

Source: New law to beef up SPB powers | The Herald October 24, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo recently in Kariba
The State Procurement Board will be transformed into a regulatory authority supervising ministries, Government parastatals and enterprises as well as local authorities on how they conduct their procurement processes. This is one of the new changes proposed in the Procurement Amendment Bill. Government, in partnership with the World Bank under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (ZIMREF), is spearheading public procurement reforms.

The programme was started in 2010 when the Government of Zimbabwe, with the support of the World Bank, commissioned a Country Integrated Fiduciary Assessment (CIFA) through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Speaking at a media workshop on public procurement in Kariba recently, senior procurement executive in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Nyasha Chizu spelt out the roles of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

“The authority will be the chief Government advisor on public procurement. “It will be responsible for recommending amendment to the public law and setting standards and issuing guidelines.

“The authority will also be conducting training and professional development, establish an independent review mechanism, monitor and supervise procuring entities and to refer contraventions to enforcement agents,” said Mr Chizu.

He said where Government entities’ breaches of procurement regulations were of a criminal nature, the authority will be responsible for reporting such to law enforcement agents, with the intention to cause their prosecution.

Mr Chizu said the new order would cover procurement of goods, works, consultancy services, general services, joint ventures and disposal of public assets. He said the only Government entities expected from the regulations were defence, public interest and national security procurement as well as special type of procurement on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Chizu said the objective of the new regulations was to promote transparency, fairness, honesty, cost-effectiveness and competitive procurement.

The other objectives were to promote competition, fair and equitable treatment of providers to achieve value for money and, to enshrine environmental, social, economic and other policies in procurement.

“The authority will have powers such as to issue direction of a general nature to procuring entities, to gather information and statistics on public procurement, to investigate procuring entities and suppliers as well as to license procuring entities and procurement staff.

“In terms of corporate governance, the accounting officer shall be responsible for procurement decision-making while board of directors will be responsible for issuing directions of a policy nature and, ministers shall be responsible for issuing directions of a policy nature.

“There shall also be a procurement management unit with the accounting officer being responsible for establishing that. “That unit will be responsible for planning procurement, preparation of bidding documents, managing the bidding process and supervising the evaluation committees,” said Mr Chizu.

He said the draft Bill was ready to be tabled before Parliament.