New public procurement system begins next Saturday

THE Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) expects to start using the new online procurement system (National e-Procurement System of Tanzania-NeST) from July 1, 2023 to increase transparency and accountability in the public procurement.

The NeST is the electronic system that facilitates e-registration, e-tendering, e-contract management, e-catalogue and e-auction.

Speaking in Dodoma on Saturday, Chairman of the PPRA Procurement Board Dr Leonada Mwagike said the first phase of the construction of the NeST system has been completed.

This phase involved setting up the module for user registration, services and products (e-Registration) and the driving and managing the procurement process module (e-Trending).

“This will help to solve technical challenges to meet the government’s needs in the procurement sector,” Dr Mwagike stated.

“When the system will officially begin to be used it will largely eliminate human interaction and human decisions, something which will help all bidders to be served equally,” Dr Mwagike further argued.

“This system also sets the division of responsibilities for each user as well as setting up the ability to monitor everything that has been done, thus helping to identify the person who makes mistakes or delays in the implementation of responsibilities, thus helping everyone to be responsible for the mistakes they make when making public purchases,” she said.

Dr Mwagike said that this system will also help provide better services as well as increase compliance with the law where bidders who do not meet the criteria will not be able to apply for work.

“This system will filter and eliminate all those who are not worthy and remain with bidders with the right criteria to enable the government to get quality services or products,” she said.

She added that this system will also reduce the loopholes of corruption as well as ensure the availability of information for making various decisions.

“The current system provides an opportunity for bidders to influence the decisions of relevant bodies such as Procurement Units, Tender Boards and responsible officials, but the NeST system will eliminate discretion decision-making and instead all decisions will be based on the processing of the system based on relevant tender criteria” she said.

In addition Dr Mwagike said that this system will be used in all stages of the procurement process from the announcement of tenders to awarding.

She noted that in order to facilitate access to accurate and necessary information quickly, the NeST system is connected to 14 government systems, including the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), the Business Licensing System (TAUSI), the TRA Taxpayer Information System, Government electronic Payment Gateway (GePG) and Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Other connected government systems are Procurement and Suppliers Professionals and Technicians Board (PSPTB), Contractors Registration Board (CRB), Engineers Registration Board (ERB), Architects and Quantity Surveyors Registration Board (AQRB), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), PlanRep (Office of the registrar of funds) PlanRep (RALGA) and Human Capital Management Information System (HCMIS).

On his side, PPRA Chief Executive Officer Eliakim Maswi called on all government institutions to ensure that they register with the NeST system because by October 1, 2023, all public institutions will be required to have registered and start using the system.

“I ask all government institutions to register in the NeST system because from October all procurement activities will be conducted in this system” he said.

He noted that the PPRA will  collaborate with Higher learning Institutions to ensure that training on the use of the NeST system reaches out to all users, where by June this year Mzumbe University, University of Dodoma (UDOM), Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA), Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA) colleges have entered into an agreement to provide such training.

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