Government public procurement systems improve

Story by Owen Mandovha

THE formation of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) in 2018 has saved the country millions of dollars from procurement corruption which was rife under the now defunct State Procurement Board (SPB)

At its inception, the Second Republic realised that billions of dollars went to waste through weak public sector procurement systems which promoted corruption hence in 2018 government replaced the State Procurement Board which was acting only as a tender Board instead of an effective regulator.

Its successor, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) installed a new procurement framework aligned to international standards which has plugged loopholes in government procurement systems.

“One of the defects of the old procurement systems is that the State Procurement Board was a mere tender Board that only awarded contracts with any regulations in place to govern public procurement. Now the new Procurement Act which led to the formation of the PRAZ works as a regulator which means it polices public procurement and flags out malpractice. This has also helped to professionalise the industry by way of a code of conduct for procurement professionals which allows PRAZ to disbar any wrongdoers,” said PRAZ Board Chairperson, Mrs Vimbai Nyemba.

With over 72% of the national budget going towards public procurement of goods, government is saving millions of dollars on a weekly basis through meticulous evaluation of public sector contracts.

“During the last quarter, we saved over US$102 million from evaluation and audits of contracts which are at times inflated. In the construction industry the contracts are often sent back for review and I can tell you that something in the region of over US$10 million is being saved on a weekly basis,” said PRAZ CEO, Mr Clever Ruswa.

He added, “We are also in the process of implementing a electronic Government procurement system whereby consultants are now in the country to roll out the program which will further root out public procurement corruption.”

The PRAZ Board this Tuesday received an ISO 9001: 2015 QMS certification from the Standards Association of Zimbabwe which highlights the organisation’s strong focus on providing the highest level of service while at the same time demonstrating commitment to ensuring an effective public procurement system.

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