Public Procurement ReformsDate posted: 04.11.2015 | Author: Harry Bovensmann
In a bid to improve spending on goods and services, government will roll out public procurement reforms over the next three years. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene announced this in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament in October. Public procurement is big business and the public sector spends over R500 billion a year on the procurement of goods and services.
Budgetary controls on non-essential items, innovative procurement reforms and strengthened cost-containment measures will encourage more effective use of resources in the years ahead. A framework has been developed to standardise public procurement reporting, supported by a training programme for responsible officials.
The Minister claimed a lot has been achieved including:
- The establishment of government’s eTender portal, which provides a single point of entry to business opportunities with government, which in the process enhances transparency and reduces the time and cost of accessing tender documents;
- Ensuring that a Central Supplier Database is operational, easing the administrative burden for business and government alike. More than 20 000 suppliers have registered and a total of 9 500 have been verified since September 2015;
- The transversal contract for Learner Teacher Support Material has been completed, and the highest contract price for Grade R stationery is R115, inclusive of packaging and delivery;
- In October, Treasury launched a buying site for high volume-low value items, similar in design to commercial e-commerce sites, enabling supply chain management practitioners to purchase routine items through www.gcommerce.gov.za.
National Treasury said that a single procurement bill is being developed to replace the more than 80 different legal instruments, guidelines and instruction notes that govern public procurement. The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer will present a draft bill for comment in January 2016.