… As PPADB wants to go after registered contractors who perform poorly outside Botswana
Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Executive Chairperson Bridget John says it has become clear that the Code of Conduct and Suspension and Delisting Regulations may need to be amended to give the board powers to discipline registered contractors who engage in unethical conduct and perform poorly outside Botswana.
In the last financial year, which ran from April 2014 to December of the same year, the Suspension and Delisting Committee is said to have received four cases for investigation resulting in one contractor being delisted while one was called for hearing before the committee whilst the board rejected two recommendations for suspension and delisting on account of lack of records and jurisdiction.
Apart from the adjudication of public tenders, PPDAB also investigate and punish contractors who are found to have breached the ethics of the profession.
The committee, which has been established with the purpose to investigate issues of poor performance and misconduct, comprises of members of PPADB, the DCEC and two external members drawn from the legal fraternity and the engineering community.
On challenges that are facing the board, John said there are delays relating to online contractor registration system which mostly arise from ineffective communication between the procurement board and the contractors, low computer literacy amongst the contracting community and lengthy registration process and system related issues among others.
To address this, John said the board is optimising the registration process to reduce the turnaround time for registration during 2015.
PPADB is also faced with non-adherence to procurement plans, leading to retroactive requests and delayed services and as well as limited participation of citizen contractors in major projects, resulting in major projects being awarded to foreign contractors.
As an intervention measure, the Executive Chairman feels the amended 2012 Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy and the relaxation of some requirements will address the issue.
The dual role of PPADB of Adjudication and Award, and oversight does not inspire public confidence in terms of governance but the government is reviewing the proposal for separation of roles.