Procurement reforms intensify

A TEAM from the World Bank-administered multi-donor trust completes its mission today of supporting the implementation of a programme to reform public procurement.


The mission, which began work on Wednesday on the implementation of the public procurement modernisation reform project, ends today.

The team is led by WB senior procurement specialist, Shawkat MQ Hasan and composed of procurement specialists.

It met officials from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) and other agencies involved in the procurement reforms.

“The mission will provide the implementation support following the newly gazetted Procurement Bill, discuss progress on the development of the e-procurement strategy and reviews overall progress of the project,” Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (Zimref) communications officer, Cheryl Khuphe told NewsDay on Wednesday.

The mission comes under Zimref, a multi-donor trust fund established to strengthen Zimbabwe’s systems for reconstruction and development with a focus on stabilisation and reform, development and poverty alleviation.

Zimref supports recipient-executed, bank-executed and hybrid projects under its four programmatic windows, which include private sector productivity and competitiveness; governance, efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure; strengthening of livelihoods and resilience; and analytical and advisory work.

The public procurement modernisation project has a budget of $4 million and aims at supporting greater transparency, accountability and effectiveness of public procurement.

The project is planned in two stages, the first of which will include a WBG-executed technical assistance grant of $0,4 million and a recipient-executed grant of $1,6m.

Zimbabwe is working on reforms to revamp procurement in government departments, ministries, parastatals and local authorities meant to ensure efficiency and quality service delivery.

The reforms will transform the State Procurement Board (SPB) into an authority responsible for setting standards and guidelines, as well as performing a monitoring and evaluation role over procurement.

The SPB will no longer be reviewing tenders. An executive review before the awarding of the tender would be done by a team involving the Accountant-General, Auditor-General, Attorney-General and a representative from Public Works.

Procurement management units and personnel will be licensed. If they stray off course, the licences would be revoked.

The wheels have been moving slowly in public procurement reforms despite the existence of a country procurement assessment report.

The report culminated from an integrated fiduciary assessment project undertaken by government in 2010 with support from the World Bank.

The reforms will be in two phases: legislative review and capacity building and e-procurement in line with the e-government agenda.

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