Felex Share Senior Reporter
Procurement officers in Government ministries, State entities and local authorities are now required to make an undertaking before carrying out their duties as President Mnangagwa’s administration intensifies efforts to stamp out corruption for the attainment of Vision 2030.
Officials in constitutional commissions involved in procurement are also expected to uphold the integrity of public procurement by signing the written promise.
All procurement officers, according to the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), should have made the undertaking by May 31.
Fighting corruption is one of the key pillars of the Second Republic and President Mnangagwa has declared zero tolerance to graft.
The new instruments to stamp out corruption are being carried out through PRAZ which administers the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) Act.
Section 70 (33) of the PPDPA Act provides that before a procurement officer enters upon his or her office as such he or she in writing undertakes to “faithfully exercise the functions assigned to him or her as a procurement officer and abide by rules of conduct provided for by or under this Act”.
PRAZ has since written to accounting officers requesting the written promises ahead of the May 31 deadline.
“The accounting officer is therefore directed in terms of Section (b) of the PPDPA Act to submit signed undertaking by staff employed in the procurement management units established in terms of Section 17 of the Act; staff that form ad hoc evaluation committees established in terms of Section 18 of the Act; staff involved in the implementation of procurement contracts from operations and finance,” reads a letter from PRAZ chief executive Mr Nyasha Chizu to accounting officers.
“Please ensure that the signed undertakings are received by 31st May 2019.”
Expanding on the new rules, Mr Chizu yesterday said the authority wanted to weed out corruption in public entities for the smooth attainment of Vision 2030.
“Getting someone accountable for omission and commissions of the procurement law is enhanced by an undertaking that one takes before employment,” he said.
“This reduces the excuse that I didn’t know what was expected of me in a procurement job. It also raises conscience of public officers in the excise of duty. It raises the costs of one being corrupt.”
He said PRAZ was mandated to issues undertaking templates.
As such, Mr Chizu said, three templates were developed with accounting officers, procurement management unit staff and non-procurement management unit staff involved in procurement expected to sign them.
“It is the duty of every accounting officer to comply with all provisions of the Act and we are encouraging all to fully comply before the deadline. This requirement shall protect accounting officers from the decorous behaviour of all involved in public procurement. Those who fail to comply are at risk of having their authority to conduct procurement withdrawn by the Authority.”