Swaziland revenue chief backs procurement plan

1 July 2010

1 July 2010 | Nick Martindale

The man charged with launching Swaziland’s first Revenue Authority has called for the government to continue with its procurement reform programme despite opposition from departments.

Dumsani Masilela, commissioner general and former finance principal secretary, who will take charge of the authority later this year, said: “The demand for government resources is growing, mainly as a result of HIV and AIDS.

“We agreed to improve the efficiency of spending money. The cornerstone of that programme has been the procurement reform initiative.

“We must say we are bringing as much as the economy can give us and also spending it as efficiently as we can. To me the procurement reform initiative needs to be continued in government and strengthened.

“As a society we don’t want to let up. I know that there are a lot of voices because some nests have been disturbed. We need to make sure that we don’t revert back to where we were.”

The procurement reform programme was introduced in 2008 with the aim of better managing risk and controlling costs. A number of contracts have come in 30 per cent under budget since its introduction, the government claims.

Plans for 2010 include the implementation of contract and supplier management procedures and reforming local government procurement.

Earlier this year the Swazi government was forced to announce budget reductions across all departments of 14 per cent, with the exception of health and education, following a 62 per cent fall in the revenue the country received from the Southern African Customs Union.

The government has come under pressure to increase spending in areas such as medical supplies and drugs, as well as access to loans for those in rural areas.

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