Speaking to Members of Parliament yesterday in Dodoma during the seminar organized by the Ministry of Finance and Planning to sensitize MPs on the envisaged review process of the Procurement Act, 2011 Commissioner of Policy and Public Procurement Dr Frederick Mwakibinga said having the public complained over misuse of government vehicles the government decided to come up with policy that will administer all public assets.
During the seminar yesterday Members of Parliament also registered their concern over lack of specific policy that regulates uses of government vehicles, some going further to argue that such policy must address the type of vehicles that the government purchases, its maintenance and disposal.
“Most of you here have spoken about the need to have a special policy on government vehicles but let me inform you that currently we are working on the policy that will administer all government assets,” Dr Mwakibinga told MPs.
Earlier on Dr Mwakibinga said the Bill for the review of Procurement Act, 2011 that was brought to Parliament last week for First Reading aimed, to among other things, review institutional arrangement and responsibilities within procuring entities in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency; to set legal requirement on the use of government approved standards and to set legal requirement enhancing transparency and accountability in procurement system.
The amendments also seek to set legal requirement enhancing special groups including women, youth, elderly and persons with disabilities to participate in public procurement undertakings.
The proposed amendments intend to also increase efficiency in public procurement by minimizing procurement transaction costs and processing time, procuring goods and services reflecting prevailing market prices, enjoy benefits such as bulky procurement accruing from use of standardized requirements, minimize corruption loopholes and increase accountability in procurement.
Members of Parliament who got an opportunity to air their views during the seminar said no matter how the government strives to come up with good Bills for enacting procurement laws if those officials entrusted to use them are not trustworthy the government and the public will always end up being losers.
Edward Mwalongo(CCM-Njombe Urban) called upon the government to ensure locals get the first priority in tender awards. “When a tender is announced locals must be given first priority and if it is proved that they can’t deliver then it should go international,” he said.
Ally Keissy (CCM-Nkasi North) said the country suffered a lot in supplies and construction sectors, saying it was high time a more stringent procurement law was enacted.
Peter Msigwa( Chadema-Iringa Urban) said the intended amendments may not be good if stakeholders in procurement were not involved in preparing the Bill. However, Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dr Harrisson Mwakyembe responded to the concern, saying the Bill involved all stakeholders.
“The preparations for the Bill involved the Law Reform Commission, the office of Attorney General and the ministry itself before the cabinet meeting discussed it. Stakeholders in procurement were also involved,” Dr Mwakyembe told MPs.
Over 66 per cent of the government budget allocated each year goes to procurement, meaning that out of Sh 29.5 trillion earmarked in 2016/17 budget over 20 trillion will go to procurement.