Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
The State Procurement Board has told Government ministries and departments that it will not accept directives from them in the awarding of tenders. This follows a recent announcement that Government ministries and departments will now be responsible for the award of tenders on condition that the SPB reviews them before they are awarded.
SPB board chairperson Ambassador Buzwani Mothobi wrote to ministers, accounting officers, usually permanent secretaries, on December 21 last year advising them that the SPB would only accept directives from President Mugabe, which is in line with the Procurement Act.
He said there was need to enhance corporate governance principles in public procurement to ensure accountability and responsibility by public officers.
“In terms of Section 20 of the Act, only the President may issue written policy directives on matters concerning public procurement,” said Ambassador Mothobi.
“The policy directives shall only be effective once published in the Gazette in line with Section 20 (5) of the (Procurement) Act. In that light, the State Procurement Board shall not be directed or controlled by any person or authority in the exercise of its functions in line with Section 5 (2) of the Act.
“In terms of Section 21 of SI (Statutory Instrument) 126 of 2015, the State Procurement Board shall not be compelled to issue ‘No objection” on application for review based on directives issued by principals that are not compliant with Section 20 (5) of the Act.”
Ambassador Mothobi said contract awards for formal tenders and limited tenders shall be first forwarded to the SPB for review before the accounting officers awarded the contracts.
He said it was the duty of accounting officers to ensure that copies of awarded letters were forwarded to the SPB in line with Section 22 of the Procurement Regulations SI 126 of 2015.
“Accounting officers are required to comply with the new provisions to handle competitive quotations to enhance transparency and economy in line with item (C) on Section 5 of SI 126 of 2015.
“Invitations shall be published on the Procurement Notice Board and website where applicable of procuring entities. The submissions shall be in sealed envelopes and opened at the expiry of the submission deadline prescribed by the procuring entity.
“In line with Section 29A of SI 12b of 2015, accounting officers are required to submit budgets together with RFPs (Request for Proposals) for review by the board. The budgets information shall be a factor for consideration for award of tender in addition to compliance with all tender requirements to ensure ‘value for money’ procurement.”
Ambassador Mothobi said it was the hope of the new State Procurement Board that all stakeholders collaborate effectively in the conduct of public procurement to achieve the objectives of Zim-Asset.
He said the mandate of the new SPB that came into office last December was to facilitate procurement of goods, works and services in a manner that was transparent, fair, honest, cost-effective and competitive in line with Section 315 of the Constitution.
As such, Ambassador Mothobi said, all accounting officers were required to ensure that all procurement was conducted in the spirit of the Procurement Act and the procurement regulations.