New Public Procurement Act to address loopholes

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Strengthening reviewing of the bidding process, efficiency among the Accounting Officers in taking decisions and delegation of power as well as transparency in the public procurement process are some of the issues that the Ministry of Finance, Procurement Policy Unit (PPU) are keen to address.

In effort to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the law and its institutional arrangements, the ministry’s PPU is currently working on the amendments to the Public Procurement Act, 2015 (Act No. 15 of 2015, which came into effect on 01 April 2017.

According to Tonateni Shidhudhu, spokesperson of the ministry, more public consultations are scheduled to take place this month in order to obtain input from various stakeholders on how to make the legislation more effective.

“Through the consultations, it was realised that certain provisions of the Act need to be amended in order to strengthen governance issues around the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN)”, he said.

Shidhudhu notes that the CPBN is currently made up of 9 board members appointed by the Minister of Finance, Iipumbu Shiimi. The chairperson and deputy chairperson are appointed on a five-year term on a full-time basis, while the other 7 board members are part time, and serve for three years.

Responsibilities

The chairperson and deputy chairperson are also responsible for administrative issues of the institution, which is sometimes becomes a challenge when they have to present their matters to the board where they also serve as chairperson and deputy chairperson, he added.

It is proposed that this arrangement be changed and employ an administrative head who will act as the chief executive officer (CEO). If that amendment is anything to go by, then the chairperson and deputy will also become part-time like other board members.

“We wish to inform the public that the Act is going to be amended and public consultations are scheduled to start on the 08th March 2021.

Due to Covid-19, the consultations will be done virtually and we would like to request the public to take interest in these consultations because this is a very important piece of legislation in the development of our country. Input from the public entities, business communities and other interested stakeholders are very vital before the draft is taken to parliament,” he said.-phillep@nmh.com.na