In a bid to improve skills of procuring officers in governmental departments and parastatals, Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) have entered into an agreement with Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) to improve the procuring officers’ skills.
Executive Chairman of PPADB Bridget John has indicated that poor procurement and tender management practices have been identified as major challenges which breed inefficiencies and wasteful expenditure in government ministries and departments.
John said at the signing ceremony that government procurement officers lack the professional skills in managing procurement and tenders. She has expressed concern that training workshops that have been conducted over the past few years have not yielded positive results as the government continues to lose huge sums of money in the procurement and disposal of government assets.
“Whilst these workshops have provided useful, the initiative has not yielded positive results due to various challenges including the absence of dedicated procurement officers across government,” John said. According to the officials, as of June PPADB has conducted about 226 workshops during which 7583 individuals were taken through basics of public procurement and asset disposal.
The executive chairperson believes the short duration of training has also proved insufficient to firmly ground trainees in public procurement, “as a result there has been a lot of back and forth between PPADB and ministries in progressing procurement activities thus resulting in delayed services.”
Meanwhile, executive director of BAC, Michael Lesolle feels the signing of the MoU will address outstanding issues in areas of procurement as the college is introducing a certificate programme in Public Sector Procurement and Tender Management. Lesolle is of the view that the Procurement of Goods and Services whether in the public sector or any other sector is a specialist activity requiring specialised skills at every level.
“This course will go a long way towards helping in solving this problem by developing and transferring skills to procurement professionals in our country,” said Lesolle adding that in essence the “supply chain” is a series of complex components of decision making-risk mitigation “the economics of value creation, financial efficiency and a clear understanding of the value for money concepts”.