Dar es Salaam — Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango has directed heads of public institutions, which are yet to join in the Tanzania National e-Procurement System (TANePS) to do so before December 31.
Dr Mpango warned that those institutions that will fail to join in the system will be forced to vacate their offices.
He made the remarks shortly after receiving the 2018/2019 public procurement report on Friday evening.
Handing over the report Public Procurement Regulatory Authority chairman Matern Lumbanga revealed that only 303 out of 540 public entities (equivalent to 56 per cent) are currently using TANePS.
"Since the beginning of this calendar year, the number of public entities, which are using TANePS has increased from 71 to 303, thanks to efforts by the authority including training to procurement officers and the woul-be-bidders," said Dr Lumbanga.
However, this didn't seat well with Dr Mpango, who said the deadline for all public entities to start using TANePS was well overdue.
Dr Mpango instructed Ministry of Finance and Planning permanent secretary Doto James to direct accounting officers of public entities yet to join the system to comply immediately with the directive.
"We have been talking about this (integration into TANePS) for a long time now; it is time to walk the talk and anyone (returning officers), who will fail to do so should pack their bags and leave offices," said Dr Mpango.
He added: "We don't only need to do away with papers but the system will improve transparency in public procurement."
Reached for comments, the chief executive officer of E-government Agency, Dr Jabir Bakar, over why about half of the public entities were yet to join in the system as pointed out by PPRA, he said: "We only provide the platform but PPRA owns the system. I think they are the right respondent to your question".
The minister also directed PPRA to submit to him a report by October 15 over why some of public entities had failed to register in the system.
In July last year, Dr Mpango directed public entities and suppliers of goods and services to ensure they register with the system.
Apart from transparency, the system, which has been integrated to the Government Electronic Payment Gateway (GePG) and Tax Payer Identification Number (TIN) data base, also facilitates fee collection.
The report, which was handed over to the minister on Friday shows that the level of compliance with public procurement regulations has slightly improved from 74 per cent in 2017/18 to 76 per cent in the year under review.