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Public Procurement Bill to be considered by Cabinet


- A Public Procurement Bill, aimed at consolidating the legal and policy framework for supply chain management, will be considered by Cabinet before April 2017, National Treasury said on Wednesday.
In the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, National Treasury said the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) is working to improve spending efficiency and eliminate opportunities for corruption.
“The aim of the bill is to consolidate the legal and policy framework for supply chain management. It will establish an apex procurement authority as the guardian of section 217 of the Constitution, which requires public procurement to be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective,” said Treasury in the MTBPS.
The bill will also empower the Chief Procurement Officer Kenneth Brown to conduct lifestyle audits and review transactions across the public sector.
The MTBPS said the draft Preferential Procurement Regulations are being revised to ensure that at least 30% of public procurement is reserved for designated groups, including small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, and rural and township enterprises.
“This is an interim measure while the new procurement bill, which has similar provisions, is finalised.
“Over the next year, public procurement systems will be modernised, with greater emphasis on digitisation. Many manual processes will be automated, helping to simplify and speed up supply chain management.”
Also, government is set to expand the scope of transversal contracts over the next three years. These contracts allow multiple organs of state to buy goods and services at competitive pre-negotiated prices, reducing costs and administrative requirements.
“There are now 50 such contracts covering 23 000 items with an estimated value of R37 billion. The contracts currently being negotiated will cover goods and services such as property and leasing, health technology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, banking services, information and communications technology, and vehicles.
“Savings of R400 million per year are expected from centralised procurement of telecommunications services.”
The integrated financial management system (IFMS)
The integrated financial management system (IFMS), to be rolled out over the next three years, will replace ageing and fragmented financial, supply chain and human resource management systems, and their associated technologies across national and provincial departments.
The system will enable government to make its operations more efficient and modernise public resource management.
Crucially, procurement reforms undertaken by the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer will be integrated into the new system.
An additional allocation will be made over the medium term. – SAnews.gov.za
Khabza Mkhize

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