The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has said it is envisioning that all Government entities will be onboard on the electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system by the end of first quarter of 2024.
Officially launched by President Mnangagwa on 23 October at the third Annual Public Procurement Conference PRAZ in Harare, the system will ensure corruption in the awarding of tenders will now be a thing of the past.
The e-GP system will minimise human assistance in the awarding of tenders and help tackle corruption.
This comes as the country is in a digitalisation overdrive by implementing policies and programmes that lay a strong digital foundation, which is key to realising the vision for an e-enabled Government.
The system which works by connecting various entities and processes through a centralised platform will now eliminate the need to manually carry out laborious, procurement-related tasks, exchanging supplier contracts and filling out supplier onboarding questionnaires.
In an interview, PRAZ capacity building director, Mr Cliff Gondo said the system will result in greater transparency in procurement processes.
“We are hoping that by the end of the first quarter of 2024 all state entities will be now onboard with regards to the electronic Government Procurement system. The system which was launched by President Mnangagwa on 23 October will result in greater transparency in procurement processes,” he said.
“Transparency is one of the best tools for fighting corruption. We are happy to say that the system also brings a lot of conveniences to the biding community we will now have a situation where our bidders do not have to travel across the country to submit biding documents they will now be able to do that from the comfort of their homes.”
He said the system will have the capability to evaluate tenders electronically without human interference up to 70 percent, while the small tenders where they will be just comparing prices will be done 100 percent using the e-GP.
PRAZ is also on a national drive to equip law enforcement agencies with vital knowledge and skills required to handle corruption cases related to the procurement processes.
Recently in Bulawayo, held a workshop around in efforts to snuff out corruption among individuals and companies where public funds are involved.
The regulatory authority, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion and the African Development Bank (AFDB), contracted the services of a Ugandan expert in the field of procurement to impart knowledge and skills to local law enforcement agents.
Mr Gondo said: “We hope that going forward when we report that someone has been arrested with regard to procurement cases the chances of prosecution will now be greater because our officers will now be able to investigate better and they will be able to understand the nature of procurement. Procurement is a specialised activity and we will continuously work with officers of these law enforcement agencies so that they are better equipped to fight corruption.”
The workshop was attended by police, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers.