via Procurement Act to be amended – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 1, 2016
GOVERNMENT is in the process of amending the Procurement Act so that it is in line with developments on the technological front, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Speaking at the Buy Zimbabwe procurement conference in Harare yesterday, Chinamasa said the new legislation seeks to restrict certain procurements to national markets.
He said the amendment of the Act would render public procurement more efficient, transparent and in consonance with other policy initiatives and developments in the technological front.
“Under that initiative, the reform of the public procurement regime is at an advance stage,” Chinamasa said.
He said the Procurement Act in its current format required that suppliers were treated fairly of services and this required the setting of qualification requirements that were not discriminatory to local suppliers and favouring foreign suppliers.
Chinamasa, however, said the local suppliers should comply with the minimum requirements like paying all taxes, duties and rates so that they would be eligible to participate in procurement proceedings.
He said the government could only set policies to enable local companies to undertake business, and it was up to the local market to attract and retain customers.
“The State might not be getting value for its money as some of the prices are inflated and there is corruption. The private sector will not grow by undermining others by inflating prices and failing to sustain their costs. It is important that we abide by the constitution,” he said.
He said locals will not produce unless there was a market for their goods and services and therefore, the government would continue to support policies that will help stimulate aggregate demand for domestic goods and services.
Chinamasa added that the State Procurement Board was currently registering suppliers in line with Section 25 of the Procurement Regulations to ensure that suppliers of goods and services under the $10 000 competitive tender threshold, complied with requirements of Section 34 of the Procurement Act that demanded them to meet the minimum requirements to trade with the public.
Buy Zimbabwe chairperson Oswell Binha said the successful construction and implementation of any government policy to that effect, required a deeper understanding of the challenges through a wide and in depth consultation of the stakeholder.
“The sad reality we face today is that the economy is evidently facing the wrong direction. If we consider the deceleration of our growth from over 8% in 2009/2010 to an insignificant estimated 1% in 2015,” Binha said.
“It suggests that the wheels of economic activity are evidently slowing down. The major challenges affecting the economy remain unchanged, suggesting that little has been done to address such issues or the economy has approached a rock in terms of responding to domestic stimulation and would require external shocks to cause notable change.”
He said the conference was indeed an extensive one bringing together government, industry including the construction and mining sectors, civil society and the academia to deliberate on the importance of local procurement in strengthening the economy.