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‘Shocking gaps riddle Zim procurement processes’


ZIMBABWE’S procurement processes have such shocking gaps that procurement officers are unable to fill standard bidding documents, a procurement expert has indicated.

Addressing a procurement workshop on Wednesday in Bulawayo, Central Procurement Consultancy chief executive officer (CEO) Denias Kagande said: “We have had a number of procurement officers from a number of municipalities, ministries and rural district councils and we have received a shock of our lives for simple things that we thought they were aware of.  We found out that they were not even aware of those things.”

Central Procurement Consultancy was given a contract by the Procurement Regulatory Authority (Praz) to carry out a training needs analysis for the country’s procurement officials.

“There is need for proper training; some of them are not even capable of filling standard bidding documents, or even the drafting of specifications for us to get value for money. The groups must be trained on a number of parameters as we have realised that there are a lot of gaps that we are getting from bidders who are complaining over a number of things like inadequate information, inadequate technical specifications, advertising periods, lack of understanding on the standard bidding documents, and failure to promote small and medium enterprises in procurement processes,” he said.

He also pointed out that bidders were leaving out crucial mandatory documents in their bid submissions, noting that they needed to be trained in order  for them to be able to win big tenders.

“There is a poor grading system when it comes to the grading of procurement officers, and in most organisations procurement officers are graded as if they are general hand workers, yet they deal with about 70 % of the country’s expenditure. We deal with tenders worth billions of dollars that end up compromising procurement procedures,” Kagande added. 

Procurement officers told Southern Eye that Praz workshops were too expensive for them.

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