The Executive Chairperson of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), Elijah Motshedi expects District Administration Tender Committees (DATCs) to play a leading role in upholding the principles of public procurement as enshrined in the PPADB Act.
Speaking at the annual DATC workshop in Palapye on Tuesday, Motshedi said the Board endeavours to provide the DATCs with necessary support to ensure that public procurement system principles are strictly adhered to.
He said PPADB has in recognition of the need to improve efficiency of the public procurement leveraged on information and communication technology such as the Integrated Procurement Management System (IPMS) platform which is available for use by all stakeholders.
He said through IPMS, contractors can register their companies and check the status of their registration application from the comfort of their homes or wherever there is internet connectivity. He added that now eligible contractors could submit their bids through the platform from anywhere. Of most interest, he said, was ability for the general public to access the system and view publicly available information such as contractors’ codes, tender opening details for online tenders, tenders that are currently floating in IPMS, public procurement plans and Board decisions.
To manage the transition from the manual environment to the online platform, PPADB has put in place management initiatives to ensure that there is minimal disruption to services. It has resolved to avail its facilities including computers with internet to procuring entities for E-Bidding. These include appointing a dedicated E-Bidding Task Team, various pay points at post offices across the country, paying online through IPMS using a Visa card and in PPADB offices in Francistown and Gaborone. The Board also took a deliberate decision to take service to the people through a Mobile Office.
Motshedi admitted however that all is not rosy as there are teething technical issues the IPMS is experiencing and they are working towards resolving such challenges.
He implored the DATCs to submit compliance reports on monthly and quarterly basis. He said through such reports the Board can assess the level of adherence and non-adherence to the Act. “The Board can also assess the level of expenditure across DATCs as well as the procurement habits of procuring entities in the district.”
The Board with the assistance of the World Bank has developed a Price Guide to provide information on market prices. This is in order to assist procuring entity to assess reasonableness of prices proposed by bidders during tender evaluation in order to achieve value for money. Motshedi revealed that his Board and Government are concerned about the high prices that bidders charge Government when procuring goods and services. “DATCs are not compelled to award tender at unreasonable prices just because they are the prices that were proposed by bidders in a tender. DATCs should ensure Government pays fair prices for goods and services procured to ensure efficient use of public funds,” he warned.
Another key development that has been put in place by the Board is the Code of Ethics for procurement personnel. This is to ensure that they uphold the highest level of individual and institutional integrity when discharging PPADB duties. He called for all officers involved in procurement at various levels to acquaint themselves with the Code of Ethics, internalize and implement it.