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11 February 2011 | Nick
Reform to government procurement practices will play a large role in reducing Swaziland’s budget deficit, the country’s Ministry of Finance has said.
The news follows a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which warned that falling revenue from the Southern African Customs Union and a high government wage bill could see the budget deficit for 2010-11 reach as high as 16 per cent of GDP.
Khabonina Mabuza, principal secretary at the Ministry of Finance, told SM that many of the IMF’s suggestions were included in the long-awaited Public Procurement Reform Bill, which is making its way through parliament.
“An improved procurement system will play an important role in reducing expenditure and the budget deficit,” she said. The bill will see the introduction of the Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Agency, which will be responsible for overseeing all government buying.
Total savings as a result of the reforms are projected to reach around 5 per cent of GDP by 2014-15, Mabuza added.