PARLIAMENT: The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Assistant Minister Buti Billy is clueless how his ministry procured artworks worth P27 million between 2016 and 2020 outside the Public Procurement Asset and Disposal Board (PPADB) rules and regulations.
Answering questions in parliament Billy claimed if any PPADB guidelines were not followed when the procurement of paintings and artworks was done, then it happened without the ministry’s knowledge.
Official records show that MYSC between 2016 and 2020 procured 3 662 artworks from local creatives.
Billy maintained that the ministry follows PPADB guidelines, rules and especially regulations.
“We have to procure artworks from those considered preferably arts and culture as well as motion pictures. We encourage other ministries and departments to follow suit using PPADB guidelines.”
However, Member of Parliament for Mmadinare Molebatsi Molebatsi begged to differ. He referred to the Auditor General`s report which indicated:“An examination of records pertaining to arts, grants and artefacts has revealed that procurement procedures as stipulated in the PPADB guidelines are not being followed. It is recommended that PPADB should be consulted on this matter in order to better manage the procurement of arts, crafts and artefacts.”
In his response Billy said that his parliamentary answer was based on what should be done instead of what has happened as the PPADB regulations guide the MYSC on how it procures.
Last year, the then Minister of Youth Tshekedi Khama, had explained to Parliament plans to an alternative method to procure. He had suggested a need to adopt a method of commissioning rather than normal tendering for television, as a way of making the content acquisition process more relevant to what creatives are doing.
Member of Parliament for Palapye Onneetse Ramogapi asked for more clarity from the assistant minister whether or not they follow PPADB guidelines as MP Molebatsi`s audit quote differs with the junior minister`s stance on following PPADB guidelines. Billy said if any procurement was done without following PPADB at the ministry, then it happened outside his knowledge.
The National Arts Council Bill is to be presented in Parliament. If approved, it is expected to set things straight in the local creative sector.
“This bill will help our youth to create jobs, improve quality and standard of products and this will help us to act well than when we don’t have guidance,” junior Minister Billy said.
Furthermore, he said: “We have a transformation agenda, on which we explain our journey and how we want to get there. When you consider the Creative Sector Strategy, the National Arts Council touches on issues of ensuring creatives earn from their artworks and we are in the process of creating instruments relevant to their needs.”