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24 February 2012 | Angeline Albert
The South African government is to
appoint a chief procurement officer as one of several measures announced to
In his 2012 budget speech to parliament made
this week, finance minister Pravin Gordhan said the National Treasury
will appoint a CPO who will have overall responsibility for monitoring procurement
across the government. The government intends to advertise externally for the
post and said it has not identified a date by which it expects to have filled
The search for a CPO is one of a number of
measures announced by Gordhan to improve the capability of public sector
purchasing. He said the competencies and capabilities required by staff working
in procurement would be reviewed and strict vetting of all purchasing officers
will take place before any buying appointments are made.
Steps will also be taken by the government
to improve the ability of individual departments to set the specifications for
all tenders. Gordhan said he will work with the minister of Public Works to
agree to undertake a joint review of the validity and cost effectiveness of all
government property leases.
The Treasury also plans to develop a
national price reference system for goods and services in order to detect
deviations from acceptable prices.
The tax clearance system will also be
strengthened to ensure that individuals who have defrauded the state will not
be given public sector contracts.
“Fraud and corruption will be combated
through changes to procurement policies and practices and tough enforcement of
the law,” said Gordhan in his budget speech.