THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) has invoked public procurement systems to respond to requirements of State entities responsible for combating coronavirus (COVID-19).
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
In economic measures introduced by Treasury on Monday, it announced that it had instructed Praz to review its procurement regulations with a view of facilitating speedy procurement of essential goods and services necessary to fight COVID-19.
“Pursuant to the March 23, 2020 address of the nation by His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa on strategies to mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the citizenry, the authority is invoking public procurement systems to effectively respond to requirements of all State entities that are responsible in one way or the other, to fight the disease,” Praz chief executive Nyasha Chizu said in Circular No 1 of 2020.
“The authority recognises the urgency required to equip all State entities that are responsible for managing COVID-19 outbreak. It also recognised that the equipment, pharmaceuticals, protective clothing and disinfectants required are known, but that the quantities required cannot be determined at this point.”
Chizu added: “It is, therefore, necessary to orderly plan for the acquisition of the requirements for the four phases of disaster management of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery”.
He said it was important that systems that achieve the objectives of public procurement were put in place to minimise risks associated with emergency procurement.
“Such malpractices cripple the capacity of government to respond to disasters,” Chizu said.
According to these new Praz measures, the State authority announced that the Health and Child Care ministry would co-ordinate the procurement of COVID-19 requirements for all 10 provinces.
Shared procurement arrangements for common use items shall be co-ordinated through provincial structures of the head office or the ministry.
Further, Praz stated that the Health ministry would identify a lead procuring entity for each province, which entity may be outside its purview.
“A special ‘standard bidding document’ for establishing framework arrangements for procurement of standard common use items for managing COVID-19 was developed by the authority and issued to the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” Chizu said.
“The framework shall establish a catalogue of COVID-19 requirements wherein suppliers qualified shall provide on a weekly basis, their delivery capacity, the price, and the provinces they can supply and details of their warehouse or shop.”
He said procuring entities would place purchase orders for their requirements after confirming availability of funds from Treasury and that payments confirmed by the Finance ministry should be made within seven days of delivery.
“In view of the Press statement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on monetary policy committee interventions for transactions, quotations and purchase orders shall be in Zimbabwean dollars with an option of payment in United States dollars when the procuring entity has free funds,” Chizu added.