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Digitalisation of public procurement process to plug loopholes

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Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s public procurement process is being digitalised to plug loopholes in the system and curb fraudulent dealings.

The new electronic system and data base is being installed through partnerships between the government and development agencies.

It emerged during a one day procurement systems media workshop this Friday that government intends to focus on transparency in the awarding of tenders to suppliers of goods and services.

Chief Executive Officer Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Mr Clever Ruswa said, “The process is already taking shape and we expect such a development to be a milestone in ensuring that our goal for sustainable procurement practices are yielding results, remember there is a value for money process which is a key thrust of our mandate.”

Zimbabwe is also investigating instances of alleged overpricing of goods and services to the government by contracted firms.

“Indeed it is an ongoing process where the main agenda is to monitor how prices are being instituted including whether the contractors are adhering to relevant protocols for the benefit of the Government,” he added.

Government as the largest buyer of goods and services in Zimbabwe is working with regulators in stamping out errant contractors.

During the procurement workshop, journalists had an opportunity to assess the current tender systems within government departments, ministries and agencies, laws governing the tendering systems, standardisation of procedures among others.