DAR ES SALAAM: THE Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has provided training to members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) on Tanzania’s new National e-Procurement System (NeST), aimed at strengthening their oversight role in public procurement activities.
PPRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Eliakim Maswi, speaking to the media after the meeting held in Dar es Salaam, emphasised that the focus was on training participants in the use of NeST and engaging in discussions to improve the sector through this innovative system.
He explained that the objective was to equip CSOs and NGOs with the necessary tools to monitor and address improvements made by the government in combating misconduct in the public procurement sector.
Mr Maswi emphasised that the Authority demonstrated how NeST could enhance transparency and accountability by providing insights into accessing information for monitoring and whistleblowing.
He stressed the ongoing need for increased awareness among stakeholders and the general public to make the public procurement system more widely known.
The CEO further noted that NeST effectively addresses corruption loopholes, displaying red flags for timely interventions. This proactive approach enhances the regulator’s ability to safeguard public funds.
He called upon the participants, who represented 31 CSOs and NGOs, to effectively use technological developments and join the government’s efforts to curb corruption and other misdeeds in the public procurement sector.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Dr Fatuma Kagongo from the Global Peace Foundation commended the Authority for involving independent overseers in promoting good governance and achieving value for money.
She affirmed their commitment to using the acquired knowledge to ensure effective oversight in the procurement processes.
Dr Kagongo stated, “This session was productive and necessary for us because we have a role to play in ensuring that government projects meet expected quality standards and that taxpayer money is spent effectively and efficiently.”
She acknowledged the significance of the NeST system as a tool to enhance transparency, accountability and value for money.
Dr Kagongo also mentioned that the session provided participants with insights on accessing tender information from the NeST system, and their input was sought to improve the system.
The NeST system, which has been operational since July 1, 2023, replacing the Tanzania National e-Procurement System (TANePS), has already seen the upload of Annual Procurement Plans for the Financial Year 2023/24, worth 23 trillion, as of December 19, 2023.
Over 12,000 tenderers have registered with the system in different business lines.