A Cabinet minister has revealed government plans to review the Procurement Act and take it away from the President’s Office and the Ministry of Finance so as to remove unnecessary red tape.
State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo told NewsDay on Tuesday Cabinet, as a whole, was not happy with the Act in its current form.
“Government is in the process of reviewing the Procurement Act. Currently the Act is under the President’s Office and is administered through the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
“Cabinet is not happy with the Procurement Act. There is a lot of bureaucracy and red tape in the process.”
The Act regulates operations of the State Procurement Board, a central government body that administers all procurement services on behalf of government departments including parastatals.
According to the Act, the President appoints members of the State Procurement Board.
Members are appointed for a term of three years and may thereafter be re-appointed.
Moyo’s disclosure was in response to complaints by Hwange Power Station general manager Ndabezinhle Mphoko that the current procurement process was fraught with red tape.
“When all the government companies are buying, they go through the State Procurement Board. I don’t know if at all it’s necessary because I think parastatals submit audited books at the end of the year,” said Mphoko.
“The State Procurement Board does not take into consideration the nature of industry.
“The time they take is very long. We are in the essential industries,” he said.
Moyo said the procurement board had a lot of work because only a handful of people sat through a lot of applications at any given time.
“There are only six people in the board who sit once a week and have to review all paperwork from all ministries and over 70 parastatals. It’s a lot of work,” he said.