NEW PROCUREMENT ACT SHOULD BE OF BENEFIT TO ZAMBIANS – CUTS

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

THE recent amendment of the Public Procurement Act of 2008 is expected to improve efficiency that should ultimately benefit Zambians, says Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) board member, Sajeev Nair.

Mr Nair said a well performing public procurement system increases citizens’ confidence in Government, promotes private sector competitiveness and growth as well as improve growth of small and medium sized businesses.

He stressed that public procurement served as a significant policy instrument that can provide quality public service delivery, create fiscal space and stimulate private sector growth.

“We are happy to mention that the government has demonstrated political will and introduced measures to continuously improve our public procurement system, such as simplified and harmonised documentation, electronic bidding, local preference which is highly commendable,” Mr Nair said during the multi-stakeholders meeting on public procurement in Lusaka.

He observed that despite the improvements over the years, the procurement system still had many inefficiencies that contribute to wastage, misappropriation and the issue of value for money.

Mr Nair, however, noted that the recent amendment was aimed at addressing some of its weaknesses.

He stressed the importance for Zambia to make its public procurement system more credible, transparent and efficient to drive economic growth.

“There is lack of credibility, transparency and accountability in public procurement management which needs to be addressed in order to correct the procurement system,” Mr Nair said.

At the same function, Zambia Public Procurement Authority capacity building manager Justin Matimuna said they would soon start using the electronic procurement system to promote transparency and accountability.

Mr Matimuna said they would soon start publishing the monthly market index which would guide procurement entities and government ministries to spend within authorised celling.

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