By Felix Andrew
THE Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has expressed its dissatisfaction over many procuring entities in Tanzania for failure to adhere to legal and requirement on submission of general procurement notices (GPNs) to the authority.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam, the PPRA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Laurent Shirima, said such actions undermine monitoring of procurement activities as well as the transparency.
He said that while the public procurement law requires a procuring entity to prepare its annual procurement plan as part of budget process and to submit it to the Authority for publication and monitoring purposes, to-date, few entities have complied.
Dr. Shirima said the purpose of publishing GPNs and other information in TPJ is to facilitate accessibility of such important information in one place which also makes it available on the PPRA website.
“Without disseminating such information through a one-stop centre where stakeholders and the public can get all the information they need cheaply, runs counter to the idea of promoting transparency in public procurement processes,” he said.
According to him, experience has shown that many entities publish GPNs in other newspapers thus causing unnecessary costs to the Government.
He added that some entities might have started a procurement process without submitting their GPNs thereby contravening the law, which requires the submission to take place before starting any procurement process.
Furthermore, the PPRA boss said the authority has reminded public entities about the requirement of the procurement law through the media but the response has been negligible.
“Apart from enabling PPRA to monitor procurement activities, GPNs also inform potential bidders about forthcoming opportunities, thereby aiding transparency and fairness in procurement processes...now, why would a public entity shy away from helping us accomplish these functions?” he wondered aloud.
When asked to mention reasons behind the entities’ reluctance to comply with the law on this matter, Dr. Shirima was not sure although one could be the awareness that GPN information is used by PPRA in monitoring procurement activities.
“According to our experience, most of the entities which fail to submit their GPNs are later on found to engage in dubious procurement undertakings with serious irregularities including fraud or corruption,” he stated.
He revealed that PPRA in collaboration with government organs, is working on how to deal with accounting officers who approve payment for GPNs to be published in newspapers rather than on the website and in the prescribed journal, in violation of the procurement law.