Members of Parliament have slammed the Public Procumbent Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) to comply with good governance practices. “The unsatisfactory compliance to corporate governance practices is worrisome. It cast serious suspicions on those mandated with such a responsibility to discharge the duties of organization,” said MP Abram Kesupile. Kesupile said the non-compliance shows that cabinet is failing in its oversight role. “The ailing compliance by a structure in the form and nature of PPADB may make it susceptible to corruption especially that it deals with tenders.”
The MP’s comments follow recent revelations by the PPADB board in its strategic plan booklet of the period 2013-2018. The book reads in part, “Related to readiness is the issue of compliance of the PEs to the Act.” The PPADB, in their strategic plan booklet, indicated that they have no baseline to start at in their endeavour to improve level of compliance to corporate governance practices. When reading out the strategic plan, the Executive Chairperson, Bridget John explained that, the board aims at reaching a 60% score mark of compliance by the year 2014/15.
“PPADB will be able to reach a 60% score mark of compliance to good governance standards. We hope to fully comply by the year 2015/2016,” she said. John blamed their non-compliance on their conflicting dual roles of procurement processing i.e. (tender vetting and adjudication) and being an appeals board resolving complaints and playing and oversight role-a mandate akin to being a player and referee at the same time. “The problem of non-compliance is a painful one; but emanates from structural organizational set-up of PPADB which hampers efficient and effective delivery, thus failure to fully adhere to the Act”. She said that the full transition where PPADB will cease to be responsible for tender awards will depend on the amendment of the Act by Parliament.
John promised that her organization will improve on the issue of compliance saying its inclusion in their strategic plan is indicative of their mission. “My organization aims to resolve these issues in the current plan through a staged process of devolution at the beginning of the plan period and transformation to a regulatory authority subject to approval of Government”, said John. She said PPADB will also strengthen contractor registration which is a critical input in the procurement management process as a way to deal with non-compliance. MP Mephato Reatile dismissed the reason given by PPADB’s Executive Chairperson labelling it a “lame excuse”. “The reason they (PPADB) are giving is flimsy. They must use the right channel to advance their grievances. They were given ample opportunity and space to explain why they are delivering below par, but never brought up the issue of an Act as a barrier.
That is a lame excuse,” Reatile said. For his part, MP Gibson Nshingwe advised PPADB to approach parliament urgently to seek remedy. “As a legislature, I urge them to seek amendment on the Act if they feel it impede negatively on their mandate. It can’t be denied that the issue they are raising is problematic, the proper thing to do is to table their issue with the relevant parliamentary portfolio committee.”