WHILE legal measures have been implemented to promote local procurement, Public Enterprises have not been pulling their weight in buying locally.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, speaking at a workshop which focused on the challenges facing public entities in the implementation of the Public Procurement Act, stated that she is disturbed by reports that some public entities do not have internal organisational structures in place and some did not submit their annual procurement plans to the Policy Unit.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed that this non-compliance needs to be rectified.
I applaud public entities who complied with this requirement, but the Procurement Policy Unit is empowered under the law to monitor compliance with the Act and with the directives issued by the minister. The Policy Unit is, therefore, required to develop and implement procurement performance assessment system and institute contract audit and performance audit,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated.
She added that the workshop will therefore assess the extent to which the Procurement Policy Unit has performed its role in this regard.
“Public entities are required to submit annual procurement plans to the Policy Unit for analysis and approval. It is expected from the Policy Unit to grant these approvals in a timely manner to avoid delays in implementation,” the prime minister said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further stated that the workshop is expected to review progress made, as well as look into challenges encountered in the implementation process of the new Public Procurement System with a view to design measures to improve the situation.
“It is expected that policy implementation guidance is issued to public entities to ensure consistency with policy objectives, aiming at economic development and benefits to the public, through local sourcing and job creation,” she noted.
Outlining more directives from the new procurement act, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said public enterprises are required to reserve some public tenders for local companies, including local SMEs and companies owned by women and the youth.
In order to hold these state entities accountable to these practices, she added that the Central Procurement Board and Policy Unit are expected to keep statistics for proper monitoring and evaluation.