Govt calls upon procurement experts to fight against graft

04Dec 2019
Polycarp Machira
Dodoma
The Guardian
Govt calls upon procurement experts to fight against graft

THE government has appealed to the Procurement and Supplies Professionals and Technicians Board (PSPTB) to help fight graft in the sector, saying projects worth 25.8billion/- were linked to corrupt deals in 2018/19.

Dr Ashatu Kijaji

The call was made by the deputy minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji who said intentional violation of procurement and supplies procedures is quite common in public offices.

The deputy minister observed that statistics show that budget on procurement is over 80 percent of the total government budget, thus the need for serious management.

She stated the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) in its report for 2018/19 indicated that 12 projects in nine public institutions worth 25.8 billion/- were linked to graft as procurement through contract procedures were not followed.

Speaking while officiating at the opening of the 10th PSPT Annual Professional Conference, here yesterday, the deputy minister said the Controller and Auditor General (CAG)'s report showed that the procurement procedures were not followed without a suitable reason.

In the report, she said, some 16.6billion/- was not budgeted or included in the plan that was approved, and a total of 24.85/-was paid for a contract that had no implementation certificate while Sh 1.57 billion was spent without any records.

Dr Kijaji explained that some 3.9 billion/- procurement was done without tender bids, goods and services worth 9 billion/-  were purchased without board's approval.

"Such irregularities derail efforts of the government, especially the fifth phase government in moving the country to middle income and industrial economy," she said, adding that there is no value for money.

The deputy minister challenged the participants of the annual meeting to come up with answers to some pertinent questions such as why are such malpractices happen in institutions whose officials are registered members of professional procurement and supply body like this?

"At the end of the meeting you should be able to tell Tanzanians for how long shall they continue to see this trend," she added.

However, she applauded the board for taking actions on professionals performing procurement activities without adhering to standards and procedures, causing loss to the government.

The deputy minister urged that those charged at the board's ethics committee should face punitive measures in accordance to the offences. She thanked PSPTB management for taking action on those who violated the procedures, and for heeding the government directive during last year's annual meeting held in Dodoma on 5th December.

"The best way to eliminate corruption is to make sure that you don't punish people at the bottom but those at the top," she said.

She directed all employers in the country to cooperate with the board, especially when it comes to matters of professional code of conduct in their offices and organisations.

In his welcome remarks, PSPTB acting managing director, Godfrey Mbanyi said his team had reported 86 cases to court for people practicing without accreditation.

"The board is doing everything possible to ensure professionals maintain ethical practices and help the government in its endeavour to attain middle income economy status," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Fredrick Mwakabinga, the director for policy in the public procurement department assured the meeting that the government will continue working closely with the board.