Business Reporter —
GOVERNMENT will engage an information communication technology expert to develop an electronic Government procurement system to enhance institutional and legislative reforms to public procurement and improve capacity of e-GP system adoption.
In a statement, the Office of the President and Cabinet said that the Government had received a grant from the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund that is coordinated by the World Bank under public procurement modernisation project and would use part of the proceeds from the ZIMREF to finance the e-GP project.
This comes as Government has taken a deliberate move to reform the State Procurement Board as part of the Ease of Doing Business reforms and also eliminate deficiencies in the recently amended provisions, which were frequently marred by controversy.
The reform was necessitated by need to address inadequacies of the current Procurement Act (Chapter 22:14) of 1999, to effectively regulate public procurement given the dynamic socio-economic environment.
Public procurement is the manner the State through its ministries, departments, parastatals, local authorities and other agencies obtain by various means such as purchase, loan, transfer or hire of supplies or services to provide public service with or without consideration.
A draft Bill was developed after consultations with central Government, parastatals, private sector, civic society and Parliament. Principles of the Bill were presented and approved by Cabinet in December 2015.
The draft Bill is now with the legal drafting division of the Attorney General after which it will start the process of Parliament deliberations.
A new State Procurement Board was appointed on November 2015 to facilitate smooth transition to the new order; and procurement regulations were also amended to enhance accountability and responsibility in public procurement decision making, where accounting officers now award tenders subject to the State Procurement Board issuing a No-Objection before procurement can proceed.
The reforms were scheduled to culminate in the establishment of an e-Procurement system. An e-Procurement Readiness Assessment was therefore conducted in mid 2015 targeting Government, private sector, state enterprises and parastatals as well as all local Authorities.
The Constitution provides for an Act of Parliament prescribing procedures for the procurement of goods and services by the State and all institutions of the Government in a manner that is transparent, fair, honest, cost effective and competitive and providing for negotiations of joint ventures and public private partnerships in a transparent, honest, cost effective and competitive manner.