Enhanced knowledge of the media on processes and procedures related to public procurement and asset disposal in Botswana will facilitate accurate reporting about activities of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB). Speaking at a media training workshop organized by the Editors Forum and PPADB, Executive Director Bridget John said it is desirable that each media house should have at least one specialist reporting on matters related to public procurement and asset disposal.
“This is the channel through which tax payers’ money is spent. An informed media adds a lot of value to awareness building as it educates and informs the public on what is working, whilst identifying areas for improvement,” she said.
John added that PPADB strives to keep public tenders clean by mitigating the risks of corruption in tenders and ensuring that principles of competition, fairness, transparency, accountability and value for money are upheld at all stages of the procurement cycle.
“We need to continuously reflect on the procurement system to assess its efficacy and inclusiveness in terms of ensuring that preferential and reservation schemes such as the local procurement scheme, CEE Policy and Economic Diversification Drive achieve the intended objectives,” said John.
She further said it is important for the public to have confidence in the procurement system. Because the Act calls for significant devolution over time to committees of the Board, the PPADB reviews financial thresholds of committees and assesses their performance and capacity every two years.
“It is our intention to build and support sufficient procurement capacity at procurement entity level and promote ethical conduct by all procurement personnel for devolution to succeed,” she said.
As part of efforts to improve its operations, the PPADB has embarked on a project to automate its functions and processes through the Integrated Procurement Management System (IPMS). The system is currently being used for online registration of contractors and also provides for development of bidding documents, vetting of bidding documents, complaints review and e-bidding, among others.
For his part Chairman of Botswana Editors Forum, Spencer Mogapi said PPADB is central to government operations because it handles millions of taxpayers finances for public tendering processes.
“It is important for the local business journalists to get factual information when reporting on processes and procedures related to public procurement issues. Well researched and balanced reporting on this matter also gives credibility to all stakeholders and informs the nation,” he said.