Following a recent benchmarking trip in the United States of America, the Public Procurement Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) says it could in the future consider revising laws that govern the “delisting” of companies.
The PPADB is mandated to discipline contractors who are in breach of the PPADB code of conduct such as unethical behaviour and poor performance.
PPADB chairman, Bridget John said Monday that although the board’s code of conduct is strict and must be adhered to by companies wishing to do business with government, “it has become clear that the code of conduct and suspension and delisting regulations may need to be amended”.
Although PPAD board chair could not commit on when such amendment will be made, she admitted that change to the regulations is necessary.
PPADB figures shows that during 2014 the board disciplinary committee which compromises of PPADB, the DCEC and two external members from the legal fraternity and engineering community received four cases for investigations.
John says one of the contractors has since been delisted while the other has been suspended, whilst the board rejected two recommendations for suspensions and delisting on account of lack of records and jurisdiction.
The PPADB disciplinary committee has been established in line with Section 49 of the PPADB Act to investigate issues of poor performance and misconduct.
Meanwhile the PPADB chairman admitted that the board is grappling to curtail the overwhelming tide of premature information leakages during the evaluation and adjudication of tenders. John says the trend has resulted in so many protests from bidding companies. She however noted that most of the cases have not reached legal courts as they are mostly brought upon by failure to understand the public procurement policy by the said companies.
She noted though that the leaking of information exposes PPADB to litigation, which leads to delays in project implementation.
“Contractors who are dissatisfied with any aspects of the procurement process or decisions have a right to lodge complaints. Decisions of the committees can be appealed to the board”
The Board is responsible for establishing procurement policy, procedures, ensuring compliance with the legislation, adjudicating tender award recommendations submitted by procuring entities, and supplier and contractor registration and capacity building. It also adjudicates on large contracts and deals with complaints and appeals in addition to its oversight role.
As a result, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently warned that conflicting roles taken on by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) could undermine the integrity of the public procurement system.
PPADB itself says it is well aware of such conflict and has moved to take corrective action. As part of its strategic plan which was launched in December 2013, the Board will straighten out kinks in its operations through a phased approach. Subject to the approval of parliament, it plans to transform into a regulatory authority.