6 December 2017

Malawi: Government Speaks Tough On Bid Rigging

Blantyre — Government says efficient public procurement system remains key to fostering the country's economic development as such it (government) would continue to fight against unfair trade practices that continue to derail efforts to the country's socio- economic growth.

Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ken Ndala made the remarks on Tuesday in Blantyre during the commemoration of World Competition Day which centred on bid rigging in procurement.

He said government was worried with growing tendencies of bid rigging, noting that such practices were old but new unfair trade practices have emerged in the business system that continue to hinder fair trade practices in the business cycle.

"Bid rigging in short talks about discussing with potential customers behind before the tender is floated so that someone or a company can win the tender that is yet to be published. It is an evil that needs to be eradicated once and for all.

"The public should play their rightful role in reporting to stop bid rigging because all procurement should performed according to public procurement procedures," Ndala pointed out, adding that all procurement entities should know that huge sums of money continue to be lost due to unfair trade practices like bid rigging.

The PS warned that anyone who fails to comply with procurement laws risks being prosecuted since doing so was contrary to government plans of instilling the three pillars of development in integrity, hard work and patriotism among Malawians.

Board Chairperson for Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), Daniel Dunga explained that there was possibility that many players in the country could abuse their authority to indulge in bid rigging, noting that such conduct minimizes chances of leveling the playing field.

He said procurement in general affects lives of people every day as the decision made may hinder or benefit one person or the other.

Dunga assured that, "CFTC will not rest until there are fair trade practices in the country. This event has been made to create awareness to consumers as a way of contributing to Malawi's economy."

"The public should be vigilant and report any suspicious bid rigging in trade as this can affect the country's development. I wish to encourage the citizenry to be our ambassadors in order to improve the country's economy," he appealed, adding that bid rigging is one form of corruption.

The world commemorates competitions day on December 5 every year and CFTC organized a parade in commemoration of the day with the theme: 'Fight bid - rigging in public procurement, grow the economy.'

World competition commemoration day started in 1980 when the United Nations adopted international standards for business laws.

The parade which started from the College of Medicine up to COMESA Hall, Chichiri Trade Fair was characterized by performances from Malawi Police Brass Band and traditional dances by Chichiri Prison Dance Troupe, poems, comedies, among other activities.

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