The Managing Director of Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), Michael Lesolle has commended the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) and the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) for making progressive strides motivated by its own intentions of improving timely delivery of public projects through among others filling in the skills gaps of its employees.
An award ceremony held on Wednesday night recognised a total of 101 graduates, 61 of which were presented with certificates on Public Sector Procurement and Tender Process Management while the remaining 40 were honoured with Advanced Taxation certificates. The recipients of the certificates work for both PPADB and BURS.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lesolle said: “PPADB is an important body that provides a meeting point between credible suppliers and public bodies in an attempt to derive the maximum value out of public funds in providing public services.”
Because PPADB often receives backlash when projects are not delivered on time, with the right quality standards and at within the agreed price frame, Lesolle said it was laudable to see the board guaranteeing the cordial working relations that exist between itself and BAC by accelerating capacity building in public procurement and asset disposal.
“The up-skilling of procurement officers through the six month long course is expected to improve the various processes of awarding tenders. BAC is proud to join PPADB in helping deliver more efficient professionals to Botswana’s procurement value chain,” said Lesolle.
Meanwhile, PPADB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bridget John revealed that a decision was recently made to publish the annual procurement plans of all Ministries in the PPADB website and government portal. This was hailed as a welcome development because concerns have previously been raised by Business Botswana (former BOCCIM) that the lack of proper operation of the e-Government tool results in businesses missing out on the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the needs of all public bodies so as to be able to meet them. This distorted the bidding field given that information was not readily available to all interested businesses, with those privileged with access to it exploiting it only to their benefit.
“The published plans will enable contractors to appreciate procurement activities planned for the year so that they may prepare well in time to participate when tender notices are released during the course of the year. This move is expected to level the playing field in terms of access to information and improve responsiveness and competition in the interest of the public,” said John.
It was also revealed that PPADB roped in the World Bank to assist it in designing fitting job profiles and descriptions in an effort to align the right skills with the specific needs of a job. This is to ensure that procurement is done by the right people to attain the best results. In addition, John disclosed that the World Bank will also help PPADB to introduce a Price Guide for Works, Services and Supplies.
“This is meant to objectively assess the reasonableness of prices quoted, given that more often than not contractors submit very high prices for Government’s work,” said John.