New eGovt procurement gains traction

29 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
New eGovt procurement gains traction Women in procurement pose for a group photograph with Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Mr Clever Ruswa (seated and centre) during their conference early this week in Nyanga.— Picture: Tinai Nyadzayo

The ManicaPost


Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

AT least 8 000 local and international suppliers of goods and services have already been registered on the Government Electronic Procurement (eGP) platform in a show of increasing confidence in a system that is expected to run full throttle this year.

The public procurement system was in the past fraught with corruption and irregularities, but the successful implementation of the new system has sealed loopholes and enhanced prospects of transparency and accountability.

Government instituted measures to curtail corruption in the public procurement system, which all along was fraught with corruption that resulted in undeserving bidders ultimately landing lucrative contracts to supply the State and its arms.

Corruption has been rife in the awarding of tenders, pricing and job opportunities, among other sections of the economy.

As a result, Government through Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) came up with a water tight electronic procurement system where all the transactions are done online.

The digital approach not only enhances the ease of doing business, but also helps eradicate corruption.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Women in Procurement Conference held in Nyanga on Monday, PRAZ chief executive, Mr Clever Ruswa said: “In terms of corruption, we are hopeful that these are some of the things that will be catered for through the Government Electronic Procurement System which was launched by President Mnangagwa last year.

“We had our own teething problems as we tried to implement it such as being overwhelmed, but we are almost there. In terms of the bidders, more than half of the people who bided last year have already been registered with PRAZ.

“Right now we are finalising the registration of procuring entities themselves so that we are on the same platform. Once we are there, we are very confident the efficiencies, effectiveness and the transparency we were looking for in the public procurement space will be achieved.

“We have already started the supplier registration process. The statistics we have indicate that at least 8000 suppliers had been registered by February 2024. This is a target that we would have ordinarily anticipated by mid-year.

“By the end of the first quarter (March) we are hoping that all the procuring entities will be on board and then implement it the eGP fully. We are expediting the process so that by the end of 2024 we will be running at full throttle”.

Mr Ruswa said some of the major challenges they faced in the procurement sector was overpricing of goods and services.

“It has more to do with macro-environment where people believe so much in what we call forward pricing, indexations and so on. Some prices are not justified in any manner with people being reactionary.

“We are simply saying no, no, no! For the good of the nation, we really need to share this cake and do what is good for the nation. From the bidding perspective they have become so reactionary forgetting that we are looking at the same national base. It would be prudent to come on the table and see how best we can move on together in terms of our pricing,” he said.

According to Mr Ruswa, the electronic procurement system is restoring confidence within and without the country’s borders.

“Some bidders were reluctant all along because of the inefficiencies that were in the system, but when President Mnangagwa launched the programme last year, they quickly came to register. For us that is a show of confidence in the new system.

“The feedback that we are receiving right now indicates that even people from beyond our borders are starting to have confidence in our procurement processes.

“I remember talking to the Africa Business Forum chairman, he is an Egyptian and his organisation was inquiring on how they can now move forward and register on our platform. As a nation we feel that we are good to go,” he said.

Several presentations were made during the three-day event by speakers from different reputable organisations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP), Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Department of Social Services.

The women in procurement conference ran under the theme: ‘Making a Difference’.


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