Gauteng province to devolve buying responsibilities

25 January 2012

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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 departments.

“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.


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