As part of reducing complaints from the business community and the bidders, this week the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board held a workshop for food suppliers to acquaint them with the bidding procedures and remind them of their responsibilities as bidders.
It was part of an ongoing strategy by PPADB to get all parties at the same level of understanding and wavelength while also assisting them to perfect their tender management strategies.
At the workshop PPADB tried to hold suppliers by hand, many of them from the SMME sectors by demonstrating to them how to produce a competitive bid.
PPADB emphasised to the bidders the importance of providing all the essential and required information in writing rather than living under the vague perception that evaluators and adjudicators had some background knowledge of the companies bidding.
This follows accusations of favouritism and unfairness leveled at PPADB by some suppliers.
There have also been long running allegations of a lack of will on PPADB to empower citizens.
This is in addition to a flurry of accusations that PPADB is fond of contract extensions, tender cancellations and award of uneconomic quantities by citizen companies.
In his opening remarks, the PPADB Executive Director responsible for supplies Ishmael Joseph conceded that there have been complaints by suppliers against PPADB and the procuring entities which in many instances showed gaps in understanding of each party’s responsibilities.
He however assured the business community that the PPADB was not created to fail businesses, but rather to administer a public procurement and assert disposal system that contributes towards achieving national competitiveness in the global arena.
“To reach this goal there is a lot that PPADB is empowered although not currently resourced to do,” said Joseph.
Mr. Joseph encouraged citizen companies to disabuse themselves of the notion of entitlement.
The PPADB Principal Procurement Specialist, Onthusitse Motsumi said it is very important for bidders not to wait to the end before complaining including through by the use of courts that the tender documents especially the ITT (Intention To Tender) were flawed.
“we shouldn’t wait that long,” said Motsumi.
He said the ITT is the primary document, and if bidders felt that it discriminated them however slightly, they should immediately make known their grievances.
He said all correspondence between suppliers and the Procuring Entities should be in writing and not phone.
He advised companies to avoid preparing their bids towards the deadlines as this tends to put them under pressure where they leave out other details which could prove detrimental to their interests.
Another presenter, PPADB Divisional Manager responsible for supplies Ken Ketshajwang said PPADB prefers open tender.
He said through the efforts of PPADB, procuring entities are no longer as confused as they wetre in the past.