The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) has announced that it is developing a special portal that will specifically be targeted at tracking tender awards for the Economic stimulus Programme (ESP).
PPADB Executive Chairperson Bridget John said Friday that the board will be designing a portal specifically for the newly introduced ESP. A web portal is a specially designed web site that brings information together from diverse sources in a uniform way. The portal will be used to track ESP tender awards and enable users to be aware of which contractors have been awarded tenders through the ESP and by which ministries and local governments across the country.
“PPADB will be facilitating implementation of the ESP by ensuring shortened turnaround times,” John told newspapers Editors on Friday.
The Board has also developed simplified bidding packages in consultation with various Ministries for ESP projects to enable eligible citizen contractors to effectively participate in the programme. While Minister of Finance Ken Matambo has previously ignored persistent calls to reveal the budget for the much anticipated ESP, Secretary for Economic Affairs Taufila Nyamadzabo let the cat out of the bag a day after the 2016 budget speech while presenting at a budget review session hosted by First National Bank Botswana (FNBB). He told the audience that an estimated P1.43 billion was budgeted for the ESP in the 2015/16 financial year, which ends in April. A further P2.2 billion will be spent in the new financial year 2016/17 which begins on 01 April.
“Implementation of the ESP will be done over a period of three years,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the ESP, Nyamadzabo said expenditure cuts were not an alternative as they could slacken economic growth, hence the need for a stimulus programme. Before Nyamadzabo went public with the ESP figures, government had remained tight lipped on details of the controversial economic programme. On Friday, the PPADB could also not say how much money will be involved but stated that the award of ESP projects is expected to benefit participating contractors. The Board further said Ministries will have to package projects through geographical areas.
Meanwhile the Board said Friday that the total value of tenders that were awarded during the 2014/15 financial year amounted toP5.04 billion.
“There was also an increase in the number of contractors registered from 8, 239 the previous year to 12, 335 in 2015. The Board also generated revenue amounting to P12.9 million in 2015, up from P7.6 million recorded in 2014,” said John.