Dar es Salaam — Even as levels of compliance with public procurement regulations have slightly improved, still five public entities, including the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), have failed to comply hence occasioning a loss of Sh4.36 billion to the government.
The 2018/19 Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) report indicates that the levels of compliance by public entities have improved from 74 per cent in 2017/78 to 76 per cent in 2018/19.
Speaking during a ceremony to hand over the 2018/19 public procurement audit report to the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, PPRA chairman Matern Lumbanga revealed that the authority conducted special investigations in five public entities (PEs) involving 13 tenders/contracts following instruction from top authorities or due to request from the PEs.
The PEs investigated were Nkasi District Council, BoT, Tanzania Airports Authority, Tanzania Bureau of Standards and Rural Energy Agency (Rea).
PPRA chairman said the money were lost due to unscrupulous public officials. Dr Lumbanga said through the audit PPRA managed to save Sh3.39 billion, which would have been lost in a similar fashion.
In total, Dr Lumbanga said, during the year under review PPRA audited a total of 7,738 procurement contracts entered between 104 out of 540 public entities and service providers worth Sh9.122 trillion.
Dr Lumbaga said that all contracts, which were audited are those with huge procurement volumes ranging from Sh20 billion and above.
"Analysis of the results revealed that 60 PEs and three PEs with branches with delegated powers received a fair compliance level ranging between 60 and 79 per cent, while 36 PEs and two PEs branches with delegated power achieved a satisfactory compliance level with a score of 80 per cent and above, while six PEs had poor compliance level.
The six PEs with poor compliance are Rea, Veta, Agricultural Seed Agency, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Kaliua District Council, Nsimbo District Council and Centre for Foreign Relations.
According to Dr Lumbanga PPRA also conducted Value for Money Audits (VfAs) on 290 procurement contracts worth Sh8.47 trillion. The audited projects comprised buildings, roads, bridges, and civil works all worth Sh996.82 billion, Electrical works worth Sh25.85 billion and railway construction works worth Sh7.22 trillion. Others are water and irrigations scheme worth Sh60.11 billion.
The overall level of VfM compliance was assessed to be 84.4 per cent were satisfactory, which is slight improvement by 0.4 per cent compared to 2017/18.
The report also indicates that there were corruption indicators in 12 projects worth Sh25.8 billion. The projects were implemented by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Tanzania Railway Corporation, Tanzania Ports Authority, Tanzania Bureau of Statistics, Singida Water and Sewage Authority in Singida and Wanging'ombe as well as by Ubungo and Kigamboni district councils and Kahama township council.
Speaking after receiving the report, Dr Mpango directed Ministry of Finance and Planning permanent secretary Doto James to take action against all accounting officers, whose offices have been implicated in one way or another in the report.
"With immediate effect the accounting officers should suspend all procurement officers, whose offices have been implicated. Secondly, the accounting officers should evaluate themselves if they are still supposed to hold offices," said Dr Mpango.
He also directed PCCB to start working on the report and take to task all implicated in the report.
After receiving the report Dr Mpango will table it in Parliament.