e-Government Procurement System: 1200 officials trained

16 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
e-Government Procurement  System: 1200 officials trained Mr Clever Ruswa

Nothando Zondo, Business Reporter

THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has trained over 1 200 local authorities and rural district councils (RDCs) accounting officers as well as individuals from procuring entities on the electronic Government Procurement (eGP) system that continues to yield positive outcomes.

Officially launched by President Mnangagwa in October last year, the eGP system enables all public entities and bidders to conduct procurement activities electronically.

It also enhances competition, transparency, efficiency and integrity in public procurement in Zimbabwe, while facilitating faster decision-making by PRAZ and reducing the cost of procurement processes.

In an interview, PRAZ chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Clever Ruswa said they have been carrying out training programmes for procurement officers and suppliers on how to navigate and use the system easily.

“These trainings are an ongoing process. We initiated these sessions last year with various stakeholders and continue to engage with different stakeholders. So far, we have conducted training sessions in Masvingo, Gweru, Manicaland, Mutare and Bulawayo. The trainings form a continuous part of our efforts to ensure minimal human involvement in awarding tenders, thereby reducing opportunities for corruption,” he said.

He said their focus was on training individuals from procuring entities to effectively utilise the eGP system which was aimed at streamlining procurement processes compared to the previous manual system.

Mr Ruswa said when the system was initially introduced, many users were unfamiliar with it and encountered difficulties due to the terminology it employs, leading to a certain level of resistance.

“At times, certain tasks may appear straightforward, but when put into practice, they reveal their complexity. This presented a challenge for some of our end users, leading to their non-resilience.

“They then soon realised that their lack of appreciation for the system was creating a gap. As we refined the system, we identified these gaps and reached out to them and provided training,” he said.

Mr Ruswa said after the training sessions started, the procurement officers began to show more interest, leading to them sharing their experiences with others.

He said that increased requests for training from their end users including local procurement officers and suppliers.

“It is evident that everyone engaging with the system is showing interest and appreciation for it, leading to them sharing their positive experiences with others. Additionally, there are individuals who, having heard about the system from others, reach out to us for more personalised training. We have received encouraging feedback from individuals expressing their wish for the system to have been introduced earlier, as they have come to value its benefits,” said Mr Ruswa.

He said more trainings were lined up to empower more individuals with the knowledge and skills essential for efficient procurement processes, which will in turn equally enhance the capabilities of their workforce.

Meanwhile, as of the end of April, close to 10 000 companies had registered on the eGP system since its launch.

Experts have said by using a system that prioritises transparency and accountability, the Government can save up to 30 percent on procurement costs.

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