Over a year since its establishment, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) is grappling with teething problems, as some ministries and departments are failing to comply with the new procurement Act.
Established in April 2022, the Public Procurement Act replaced the former Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2001 (PPAD Act). The Act empowers permanent secretaries, directors and land board secretaries to award tenders.
PPRA Chairperson Gerald Thipe said the Authority is transforming to align with its new mandate.
“The adaptation to this new mandate presents its share of challenges. Inadequate skills to manage procurement within Procuring Entities (PEs), delays in transitioning to the revised mandate, and non-compliance with the PP Act stand out as noteworthy hurdles,” said Thipe.
Additionally, he said, the formulation of necessary structures for implementing the new procurement mandate faces delays.
“Financial constraints, insufficient budget allocation, and inadequate office accommodation for PPRA officers in Gaborone compound these challenges,” said Thipe adding that “Nonetheless, the PPRA remains resolute in navigating and mitigating these challenges, ensuring effective alignment with the PP Act and the realisation of the PPRA’s objectives.”
According to the report, the Authority conducted 35 assessments. The aim of the assessments was to examine the capacity of PEs i.e., Ministries, Parastatals, Land Boards and District Councils to carry out the new mandate as prescribed in the New Law. It says the assessment involved interviewing Accounting Officers, POUs, Procurement Units (PUs) and User Departments as well as inspection of records.
“The assessment was essentially meant to determine the level of compliance with the provisions of the PP Act, saved Public Procurement and Asset Disposal (PPAD) Regulations and Local Procurement and Asset Disposal (LAPAD) Regulations and best practice,” the report says.
According to the report, 35 compliance monitoring assessments revealed some deficit in readiness, particularly for PEs that were not included in the scope of the erstwhile law; the PPAD Act.” The report says Ministries performed fairly well as compared to their counterparts, namely the Land Boards, Councils and Parastatals.
The report also shows that during the financial year under review, PPRA received 16 598 contractor registration applications compared to 19 612 in the previous year.
“Out of the total number of applications received 4 206 were for Services, 6 065 were for supplies, and 6 327 were for works,” the report says.
This, says the report, represents an overall cumulative percentage of 25 percent for Services, 37 percent for Supplies and 38 percent for Works.
“Revenue generated through contractor registration during the reporting period reduced by 23 percent from the P11,964,015.00 generated in the previous year to P9,239,965.00 in the year under review,” the report notes.
It says the challenges of not meeting the financial budget emanate from, delays in payment by contractors for their applications, reduction in incoming applications due to the slow take-off of procurement activity after implementation of the PP Act, given that the year under consideration was a transitional period where structures were still being put in place.
In terms of Corporate Performance for 2022/23, the report says at year-end it stood at 82 percent against a target of 85 percent, hence performing slightly below target.
“The Learning and Growth, as well as the Financial Perspectives performed below target while Internal Processes and Customer Perspectives performed reasonably well,” says the report.
During the financial year under review, PPRA received 16 598 contractor registration applications compared to 19 612 in the previous year. Out of the total number of applications received, 4 206 were for Services, 6 065 were for Supplies, and 6 327 were for Works.
“This represents an overall cumulative 25 percent for Services, 37 percent for Supplies and 38 percent for Works,” states the report.
Revenue generated through contractor registration during the reporting period reduced by 23 percent from the P11, 964,015.00 generated in the previous year to P9, 239,965.00 in the year under review.
But the report says there were some “Notable achievements during the year which include; “development and submission of the PE Model Structure to Ministry of Finance (MoF), review of the old PPADB Regulations, and continuation of regulations which were found to be consistent with the new Act, handing-over tender records to Accounting Officers, extensive Capacity Building which was followed by Compliance Assessments on sampled PEs including inspection of Procurement Records.”