MINISTRY of Finance and Planning in Tanzania is finalising the government asset management policy that among other things will oversee supervision of government property including vehicles and buildings, the National Assembly heard yesterday.
The envisioned policy will provide guidelines on purchase, storage and disposal of government owned properties in accordance with the government push for transparency.
Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Edwin Ngonyani however told the House that in the meantime the government will continue using the Public Procurement Regulatory (PPRA) Act CAP 410 in purchase and disposal of assets.
“In order to improve management of its assets, the government has decided to formulate a new policy to that effect” he said, adding that the aim of the new guidelines is to help iron out shortfalls in the current system.
The deputy minister explained that currently all government vehicles are purchased under bulk procurement to help avoid high costs.
Ngonyani stated that under the PPRA Act CAP 410, Ministry of Finance and Planning through the Government Procurement Services Agency (GPSA) is charged with the responsibility of buying government vehicles basing on the specifications provided by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication.
The deputy minister gave the explanations in response to a question by the Lupa MP, Victor Mwambalaswa (CCM) who wanted to know what was the government policy on vehicles.
The deputy further explained that according to the PPRA Act and its regulations, his ministry through TEMESA was charged with responsibility to oversee maintenance services of government vehicles.
However, in a supplementary question, Mwambalasa also asked the government why despite talking of cutting costs of running the government, it had stuck on using Toyota VX and not Toyota Prado just like the government of Zanzibar.
He argued that a brand new Toyota VX costs least 220 million/- while a new Toyota Prado’s cost was only 120 million/-, adding that if the government resorted to use Prados, it could save millions of money that could go to other important development projects.
“The difference in purchase of only twenty Prados, for instance is enough to build a dispensary in any rural set up where people had no access to health services,” he noted.
Responding, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication noted that the government always buys vehicles based on demand, price, safety and maintenance costs.
“The situation in Zanzibar is quite different since one only need to travel for 30 kilometres unlike in the mainland where government officials traverse between 200 and 1200 kilometres on just one trip,” he explained.