A transparent and fair tender process for Government mooted

“The tripartite alliance in Gauteng has proposed a complete overhaul of government procurement policy to ensure transparency, prevent corruption and speed up service delivery,” Sibongakonke Shoba wrote in the Business Day of April 1, 2010.

Central to that thought is their simultaneous call for the tender process – the chief mechanism by which the State acquires the goods and services it needs from third party service providers, suppliers and vendors – to be made public; fully disclosing the tender from when it is advertised through to its award.

This call is totally concomitant with section 217 of the South Africa Constitution, which prescribes that:

“When an organ of state in the national, provincial or local sphere of government… contracts for goods or services, it must do so in accordance with a system [of supply chain management] which is:

• Fair
• Equitable
• Transparent
• Competitive
• Cost effective

During a one-day workshop on ‘Tenders in Government’ held in Centurion late last year, the facilitator Riana Bredell, Senior Manager Consulting at Deloitte, affirmed this fundamental principle when she pointed out that the key to addressing poor and corrupt tender practises throughout government lies in applying the powerful foundations encapsulated in the Constitution, which is recognised internationally as the benchmark for emerging and developing countries.

The State’s Supply Chain Management Framework is also compatible with this appeal as it dictates the process of government procurement through tendering, and specifies that “any public SCM policy must ensure that the right goods or services are delivered to the right place, in the right quantity, with the right quality, at the right cost and at the right time”. All of which is based on transparency.

Bredell is equally adamant that the other cornerstone of a transparent and fair tender process lies in the continual training of the personnel who are tasked with or responsible for managing, overseeing and implementing the government tenders economy.

This important aspect of competent and skilled managers was also touched on by ANC provincial secretary David Makhura who is reported by Shoba as saying that ‘corruption was not just about tenders but also about public servants not doing their jobs properly’.

SmartProcurement has scheduled another of Bredell’s intensive one-day workshop, ‘How to manage Tenders’, which will take place on June 2, 2010 at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria East.

For further information on this technical workshop, during which delegates are put through their paces on the A – Z of Government Tenders Best Practice, please call Erieka Santos on 086 133 4326 or e-mail her on admin@smartprocurement.co.za

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