Notable performance in public procurement sector

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan’s three years in power has seen the Public Procurement sector recording notable performance, including introduction of the New Electronic Procurement System (NeST).

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) capacity building and Advisory Services Director, Eng Amin Mcharo revealed this on Tuesday when speaking to journalists in Dar es salaam, noting other achievements as capacity building and provision of advice and training on the use of NeST and saving of government funds.

“We have registered a lot that can be described as success attained during the three years of President Samia’s dynamic leadership,” he said.

NeST replaced the previous system known as the Tanzania National e-Procurement system (TANePS). He said one of the great benefits of NeST is the availability of information for making various decisions. “NeST is simple and has the ability to guide users through all the steps required to perform intended tasks,” he noted.

Moreover, Eng Mcharo said the system can be accessed through mobile applications where most mobile users will not need any training to use it.

He added that the system has increased participation of bidders and transparency in public procurement, which will enable the government to purchase goods and services at market prices. He added that the system also plugs loopholes of corruption.

“Until February, 2024, a total of contract awards worth 1,954,269,683.55/- have been awarded to special groups through public tenders announced by public institutions through NeST, where a group of young people have received contract awards worth 709,162,838.00/-, 1,166,769,845.55 for women and 78,337,000/ for the elderly,” he explains.

One of PPRA’s legal responsibilities is to build capacity for stakeholders and provide advisory services on various issues related to public procurement.

Explaining how the authority has been successful in the three years of Samia’s leadership, Eng Mcharo said that in efforts to build capacity and provide advice to procurement institutions, PPRA has conducted special training on public procurement law, where between April, 2021 and March this year, it has done special training (Tailor made training) in phases for 83 public institutions and 50 councils and was attended by a total of 1,814 participants.

The participants are from public institutions that have been built on the law, rules and various guidelines for public procurement, including internal auditors, heads of procurement management units, members of tender boards and applied departments.

Also, between April, 2021 and March, this year, the authority has conducted 15 joint trainings on laws, contracts and procurement implementation tools, of which 12 trainings were attended by 1,291 public servants from 381 procurement institutions, while others were given to bidders and attended by 41 participants, while training for students of higher education colleges was held twice and attended by 357 participants.

However, the authority has succeeded in building the capacity of special groups at different times, a total of 928 participants, including 270 women and 158 people with special needs and 500 young people in Dodoma have undergone capacity building.

Among the major achievements of the authority is the improvement of the research unit. The unit has been able to do great research and answer the issue that was troubling people’s minds about the Force Account, Eng Mcharo said.

“The authority has succeeded in conducting research on the use of the Force Account in order to achieve the acquisition of value for money (Value for money). In order to ensure that the unit is strong, the authority has completed preparation of the research policy and agenda to identify the important areas to conduct research in public procurement and expects to complete two studies before the end of the year,” he said.

The presence of the Public Procurement Control Authority in the country aims to help the government in the use of its funds in procurement, to ensure that the Value for Money in Procurement is visible.

Therefore, due to this objective, the Authority has been given the responsibility to conduct various inspections in all procurement institutions.

“We expect to save a large amount of money from the use of the NeST system,” Director Mcharo explained. Explaining about the funds allocated for public procurement, Eng Mcharo said more than 27.5trn/- has been placed in the NeST system for the purchase of goods, services and construction works, while until Tuesday contracts worth more than 5.14trn/- were awarded to bidders through the NeST system, where 18098 bidders have registered on the system,’’ said the Director.

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