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25 January 2012 | Angeline Albert
The government of Gauteng province is to
return some purchasing responsibility to individual departments and reduce the
activity of its centralised shared service centre.
In an bid to make procurement more
efficient, buying will be divided between the Gauteng Shared Service Centre (GSSC),
which will handle cross-departmental purchases and contracts, and individual
departments, which will look after specific goods and services. The decision leaves
its buyers – who make up around 30 per cent of the 1200-strong workforce - uncertain
as to whether they will remain part of the GSSC or be moved to other
“A consultation process with staff is under
way. The majority of procurement staff will go to other departments,” Lebogamg
Seabelos, spokesman for the Gauteng Department of Finance told SM. “The government’s mandate is job
creation, so they will not be looking to leave staff without jobs. Buyers who
dealt with government-wide contracts will stay with GSSC and those involved in
purchasing work for specific departments will be moved there.”
The GSSC was established in 2001 to manage
procurement services as well as HR, corporate services, auditing and technology
support services for the Gauteng Provincial Government.
The government said slow communication between
the GSSC and departments when trying to combine automated and manual invoice
processes had led to delays in payment to some vendors. The devolution is an
attempt to speed up the purchase of products and services.
This “hybrid model” is expected to be in
place by the end of March.