Botswana: Court Cases Delay Project Implementation - Ppadb

Maun — Local contractors who are not happy with awarding of tenders have been advised to lodge their complaints with Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) rather than going to court.

PPADB public relations and education manager, Mr Charles Keikotlhae said they had observed that some contractors who did not win tenders lodge complaints with the courts out of jealousy while some come up with some tactics, adding that was worrisome as they denied the community to benefit from developments.

He said this when briefing North West District councillors on the PPADB board operations, challenges and interventions and also to get feedback from the political leaders on the public procurement and asset disposal system so as to make some improvements.

He said cases at the courts took long to be resolved hence the delay in project implementation.

He stressed the need for bidders to exhaust administrative review processes through the board and the Independent Complaints Review Committee (ICRC) which are faster than the legal recourse.

Mr Keikotlhae said the ICRC enhanced turnaround of dispute resolution by avoiding the legal recourse which were both expensive and lengthy.

He noted that the primary mandate of PPADB was to adjudicate and award tenders for central government and that 'the board also registers and disciplines locally based contractors, supports capacity building in procurement and also monitors compliance to the Act; and advises on procurement related issues.'

The house learnt that a total of 120 complaints were received by PPADB during the first half of 2018/2019 financial year of which 52 were works, supplies 39 and services 31.

Mr Keikotlhae also stressed the need for all contractors to register with the board for easy monitoring of compliance to the act. He said relevant authorities should also report underperforming contractors to the board so that proper action could be taken.

He said they had realised that some contractors abandoned projects and bid for other tenders in different locations, adding that they had a suspension and delisting committee which ensured compliance to PPAD Act.

The committee takes proper action against contractors breaching the code of conduct and terms of contracts. He pointed out that some contractors had been suspended and advised all tender committees, land boards, local authorities, parastatals and government departments not to engage in public procurement or asset disposal (including micro procurement) with suspended contractors.

He stated that the affected directors and shareholders could not form new companies to trade with government during the suspension period, as PPADB would not register such companies.

The house was also informed about the tip-off anonymous, an initiative introduced as a one of the measures to fight corruption in procurement.

Mr Keikotlhae said the public, contractors, procuring entities, or even PPADB employees could report perceived acts of corruption or unbecoming behavior without fear of intimidation through the Tip-Off Number: 17232. He revealed that a few reports had so far been received and investigated.

He urged Batswana to take active part in fighting corruption in tenders by reporting suspicious conduct.

Mr Keikotlhae shared with the house some challenges that worried the board such as low level of adherence to procurement plans by procuring entities, delays in initiation of procurement by procuring entities, evaluation of tenders, adding that contracting remained a concern as it discredit the procurement system..

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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