The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) on Friday held a suppliers’ consultative workshop.
Officially opening the workshop, Acting Executive Chairman of PPADB, Mr. Mosimolodi Lefhoko, said the constitution of Botswana recognizes Democracy as its key principle and, as such, “we are governed by a government of the people for the people and by the people” hence the consultative workshop is for ‘the people’ to achieve this democracy and enhance good governance through discussions.
He further said this democratic principle encompasses the right to consent (YES) and the right to dissent (NO) to ideas governing the management of the business fraternity, therefore, they do not want to be associated with imposing ideas, hence this consultation was meant to interrogate multiple possibilities as they relate to registration and grading.
The core objective of the workshop was to discuss with stakeholders and partners on issues pertaining to Contractor Registration (CR) and grading.
“Consultation is also espoused in one of the PPADB key values of partnerships, hence this gathering bears testimony to the realization of this core value,” Lefhoko said.
He added that the consultation is also part of the ongoing efforts to deliver a more robust registration and grading process in the procurement arena. Lefhoko noted that they focused more on suppliers because it is a requirement of the PPADB Act of 2001. He noted that, among other functions and responsibilities, PPADB registers contractors, suppliers and service providers domiciled in Botswana in order for these companies to be able to participate in Government tenders.
He said that PPADB inherited CR from its predecessor, the Central Tender Board (CTB), but then the system was manual.
“At some point, the CTB engaged a consultant to develop a computer based CR system but never worked out,” he said, adding that registration is currently fully enjoyed by a few limited to non works related supplies and services.
He also pointed out that the system faces some challenges that hinder its extension to some of the areas and, for this reason, the workshop will assist PPADB in revamping the registration system to ensure that the requirement in the Act is extended to all service providers such as suppliers.
The workshop drew some discussions amongst the stakeholders and partners as they tried to come up with ways in which contractors, suppliers and service providers should be graded or whether they should be registered. Most agreed with the registration and grading saying it would establish a database of the different companies that supply and are in service providing. The groups further said this would enable PPDAB to control and monitor different companies.