Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (PPADB) has admitted to failure to take actions against nonperforming contractors who continue to bid and win government tenders, due to lapses in monitoring system caused by procuring entities.
PPADB Executive Chairperson, Brigette Poppy-John indicated in the organisation’s latest Annual Report (2017/18) that as PPADB continues to execute its mandate, one of the major challenges which persist is the non-submission of End of Activity Reports by Procuring Entities. Poppy-John contended that such failure constrains the monitoring of performance of contractors and the tracking delivery of awarded contracts as well as the effectiveness of the Suspension and Delisting Committee to discipline defaulting contractors.
“Furthermore, nonperforming contractors continue to bid for and win Government contracts, and often continue with their unacceptable performance and misconduct,” she noted. “The performance of DATCs (District Administration Tender Committees) in relation to compliance to the PPAD Act needs to improve particularly where there are no secretaries resulting in poor record keeping.”
The PPADB chief argued that the increasing devolution to Tender Committees necessitate enhanced capacity hence it is important for Procuring Entities to continue to resource the procurement function approximately with skilled personnel. Poppy-John has consistently spoken in favour of devolving powers to Ministerial Tender Committees (MTC) and District Administration Tender Committees (DATC) in tender adjudication.
â€¨Currently MTCs and DATCs deal with procurement of goods, services and works which are below P300 million in value. The MTC financial ceiling range from P25 million to P300 million while ceilings for DATCs range from P2 million to P10 million. “The intent is to increasingly devolve authority to Ministries and Districts for improved procurement performance. Challenges that come with the devolved mandate need to be acknowledged and addressed for improved procurement performance,” Poppy-John said earlier this year.
Poppy-John had argued that procuring entities should embrace sound procurement practises to deliver on their core functions because procurement can no longer be treated as a menial standalone task that is not a priority for those in leadership. â€¨However, as indicated in the Annual Reports, MTCs and DATCs are failing to rise to the occasion in dealing with issues that ensures efficiency and quality in the public procurement system.
“The conceptualisation, planning, and the contact management need to revive more attention at Procurement Entity level to address concerns of poor project implementation resulting in time and cost overruns which compromise quality,” Poppy-John noted in statement. â€¨Poppy-John indicated that the monitoring and enforcement of empowerment schemes such as Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) and Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE) need to improve particularly at contract implementation stage to allow for the assessment of the impact of the schemes.
PPADB Executive Directors has also indicated that her institution is operating under a limited budget despite increasing requirements. “There is need to revisit PPADB annual budget and align it with its mandate, strategy, and key activities, “she said. “The Board should continue to review its cost recovery initiatives to raise more money and lessen dependence on the Government’s subvention.
ADJUDICATION OF TENDERS FOR CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
According to the Annual Report, during the 2017/18 financial year, the Board adjudicated on 614 submissions. The figure represents a 6 percent increase when compared to the previous financial year when 579 submission were considered by the Board. The Board awarded tenders amounting to P1.9 billion compared to P6 billion in 2016/17 financial year, representing a 68 percent decrease. However, it is noted that the high value in 2016/17 was due to roads projects awarded under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
MTCs adjudicated on a total number of 5693 submissions during the period under review amounting to P5.4 billion compared to the previous financial year of 4074 submissions amounting to P5.43 billion. The DATCs adjudicated on a total number of 1645 of submissions amounting to P400.5 million as opposed to the previous year’s 1667 submissions totalling P398 million. PPADB was unable to have records for four of the 28 DATCs mainly owing to the absence of secretaries.
During the period under review, the Special Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (SPADC) adjudicated a total of 98 requests amounting to P3.6 billion compared to a total of 169 in 2016/17 financial year amounting to a total of P1.187 billion. The total value of procurement for PPADB and its Committees for the 2017/18 financial year amounted to P11.322 billion excluding micro procurement by Ministries, lower than the 2016/17 financial year figure of P13.075 billion. The value of tenders awarded through micro procurement for the 2017/18 financial year amounted to P402.6 million compared to P335 million in the 2016/17 financial year.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.