By Africa Moyo
The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has introduced standard bidding documents for use by all procuring entities as part of efforts to ensure transparency, uniformity and containing costs.
PRAZ chief executive officer Mr Nyasha Chizu, told The Herald Business yesterday that the standard bidding documents have been introduced in terms of Section 6 (1) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act Chapter (22:23).
The term “standard” implies that the documents are used across all procuring entities to achieve uniformity when procuring the same goods, services, works and consultancy.
Mr Chizu said the standard bidding documents are important if the country is to achieve President Mnangagwa’s vision 2030 of an upper middle income economy.
” . . . the objectives of public procurement are to ensure that processes are transparent, fair, honest, competitive and cost effective,” said Mr Chizu.
“For the PRAZ to achieve these objectives, there is need for standard rules in the public sector to regulate competition.
The five bidding documents introduced are standard request for expressions of interest for the selection of consultancy services; standard request for proposals for the selection of consultancy services; standard bidding document for the procurement of goods; standard bidding document for the procurement of non-complex works; and standard bidding document for the procurement of non-consulting services.
Mr Chizu said the documents shall insist in the achievement of fairness, competition and attaining economic value in procurement processes.
“To achieve these goals, effective and efficient procurement processes must be established. This includes incorporating adequate controls to promote competition and minimise risk of fraud, corruption, waste, and the mismanagement of public funds.
“In this context, transparency is considered to be one of the most effective tools to deter corruption and ensure value for money.
“Transparency is considered to be a prerequisite for ensuring the accountability of public officials and the uniformity brought in by using these introduced standard bidding documents will ensure ease of review of procuring entities by the Authority’s monitoring and evaluation division.”
Mr Chizu added that another method designed to improve transparency and efficiency would be the use of electronic tools. PRAZ is currently working on modalities of an e-Government procurement which is expected to increase transparency, efficiency, easy access to information, increased competition and lower costs.
Public procurement is the manner in which the State through its ministries, departments, parastatals, local authorities, commissions and other Government agencies, obtain by various means the necessary goods, services and works to carry out Government activities.
This makes public procurement a critical tool for industrial development and service delivery by State-owned enterprises and should therefore benefit local businesses, construction and manufacturing sectors and the general population.