Thursday, July 9, 2020

PPADB automation excites contractors

Businessmen and women have welcomed the recently introduced Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) web-based registration system, dubbed Contract Registration Module, recently.

The new system, which is the first phase of the Integrated Procurement Management System (IPMS), seeks to improve service delivery.

One such is Maggie Thomas Chama Investments Director who spoke to The Sunday Standard on the side-lines of the launch. Her company specialises in Maintenance, Supplies and Construction.

“With this new system there seems to be an improvement when it comes to transparency. This means there will be no room for corrupt practices as the whole information about bidders, awards and status will be available for everyone to see on the internet,” said Thomas.

She said ever since she has been a client to the Board, she was bidding many tenders but losing in most of them. She suspected foul play.

The businesswoman said she nearly gave up on her business as chances of winning seemed to be too slim and she said the playing ground did not seem to be level enough.

Thomas said she could not understand the criteria used for awarding tenders by the PPADB as it was ‘too tricky’ for her. She cited times when many went as far as Gantsi to bid for a tender, spending more money only to be surprised to see the tender being given to an unknown bidder. She said in some cases, some people were getting tenders every time there was a tender.

However, Thomas said she is challenged by technology but was positive that she will learn and adapt to this new system. Assurance was also made by PPADB as they said “the system is very basic and user friendly”.

The PPADB Chairperson, Bridget John, said at the launch that the board was fully aware of the great inconvenience suffered by clients who had to travel long distances to access services from Gaborone, hence IPMS will assist in this regard.

John said this new electronic registration system will come with benefits, like reducing contractor cycle time on assessing applications for approval by the Board. She said the other benefits are improvement of accessibility whereby bidders will get email alerts on floating tenders and also be able to download tender documents and submit it from everywhere there is internet services.

John said there is also ensuring of transparency and integrity by capturing data on the system which will be accessible to all contractors who have access to the internet. She also said the contractor can also track the status of their bid and the outcome of tenders and with this new system there will be creation of an audit trail throughout the tendering process.

The Board also said their clients should embrace this new registration system and also be prepared for an even bigger change that will come with phase two of the IPMS where tendering will be done online. The PPADB also said those who are challenged by technology should be free to consult their service desk which assists and guides contractors and Procuring Entities.

PPADB has also forged a contract with Botswana Post and the terms applied are that contractors are able to make payments at post offices throughout the country. The contractors who do not have internet services at their homes and offices are to also use the Botswana Post offices.

The PPADB also urged the contractors to submit their application online starting from 27 March 2013 because there will no longer be acceptance of manual applications.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.