AT least 90 percent of all cases of graft and public funds’ embezzlement affecting developing countries can be traced in procurement-related activities and transactions, it was revealed in Arusha.
The Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, stated here that most of the purchases being made hardly took into consideration issues like ‘Value for Money,’ ‘Actual needs,’ ‘Realistic Pricing,’ ‘Transparency’ and ‘Competition’ factor.
More than 50 countries from around the globe are gathering in Arusha where some 500 delegates are attending a three-day international conference on ‘Public Procurement.’
“Even here in Tanzania, much of the public funds’ leakages occur during procurement exercises and for years, this has been costing the government billions, in losses,” Dr Mpango explained.
Quoting the ‘Public Procurement Regulatory Authority’s’ Annual Performance Evaluation Report, the minister pointed out that, over 70 percent of funds from the National Budget was spent on procurement.
“You can thus see how sensitive this sector is, as well as its ability to either push forward or cripple the economy and industrial development in the country,” he said.
Dr Mpango, who represented President John Magufuli, was speaking during the ‘8th International Conference on ‘Public Procurement in a Global Environment – Past, Present and Future Development’.
The meeting is taking place for the first time on the African Continent, for which Tanzania has been privileged to play host. At least 400 delegates are in attendance.
Participants include experts in issues of procurements and supplies; policy makers, researchers, economists, national public procurement authorities, as well as tender boards and appeals authorities.
Speaking earlier on, the Co-Chairman of the organising committee, Dr Samuel Werema, who is also the Acting Rector at the Institute of Accountancy, Arusha (IAA), said they intended to make use of the meeting to learn how they can take advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in addressing challenges in procurement.
The gathering of experts in procurement issues are on the other hand also discussing, among other things, challenges facing the sector as the technological future looms.
“It is quite an honour, that out of the 55 African countries, Tanzania should be chosen to host this important global meeting; apparently, good governance, peace, tranquility and transparency are some of the factors that made our country to stand out,” said Dr Werema.