Progress on procurement, but 'major weaknesses' remain in Tanzania

3 January 2013

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3 January 2013 | Anna Reynolds

The Tanzanian Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has found 63 out of 137 construction contracts performed well in terms of value for money over the past year.

An audit of contracts at 37 procuring entities (PEs) worth TZS 239 billion (£92 million) also found 67 contracts performed fairly (between 50 and 75 per cent) and seven contracts were rated as poor (below 50 per cent).

The PPRA also conducted a procurement audit for the 2011/12 financial year which revealed PEs are increasingly complying with the Public Procurement Act. This review, of 121 Pes, indicated an average level of compliance of 74 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2010/11.

But despite the progress, the results found some serious problems of non-compliance in local government authorities (LGAs) due to insufficient procurement management, poor record keeping, weak contract management and failure to publish contract awards.

In his new year greeting statement, PPRA CEO Ramadhan Mlinga said: “The audits revealed major weaknesses in contracts’ administration and quality of works, particularly in LGAs, caused largely by lack of knowledge in design, lack of qualified staff, lack of quality control tools and inadequate working tools such as vehicles.”

In 2012, the PPRA debarred 26 firms for failing to fulfil their contractual obligations with PEs, a further eight for procurement malpractice and 358 following their suspension by the World Bank and Public Procurement and Disposal Authority of Uganda.

“This move is aimed at ending the existing practice where a supplier or service provider fails to implement their contracts with one entity but tenders and ends up winning a contract in another entity,” Mlinga added.

The Tanzania Five Year Development Plan is now in its second year of implementation and aims to achieve better value for money on all public procurement. Mlinga said: “Savings accrued through reliable and better procurement can provide more: better roads, better hospitals, better airports, better schools, clean water, reliable railways, reliable electricity – which translates to national development.”

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