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Emergency procurement risky, leaves room for manipulation: Shiimi

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Minister of Finance Iipumbu Shiimi said in its current state, the emergency procurement which allows government institutions to procure goods and services without going on tender is risky and leaves room for manipulation.Shiimi said this on Thursday in…

Minister of Finance Iipumbu Shiimi said in its current state, the emergency procurement which allows government institutions to procure goods and services without going on tender is risky and leaves room for manipulation.

Shiimi said this on Thursday in the National Assembly while responding to questions by United Democratic Front (UDF) parliamentarian Apius Auchab on amendments for the Public Procurement Act which are currently underway.

Auchab wanted Shiimi to give an update on the efforts of the ministry on how they plan to make the legislation more effective.

Shiimi said with the Procurement Act they aim to among others address anomalies identified in four key areas which include emergency procurement.

“With the emergency procurement, we believe that there is a bit of a risk there, where it can be abused. Sometimes people dream up crises, they engineer crises, and they want to justify procurement through an emergency procurement because of that crisis. So, we want to address some of those loopholes and strengthen the Procurement Act by looking at what is defined as emergency so that we don’t have people creating emergencies when they like,” Iipumbu said.

The ministry further wants to separate the role of the chairperson of the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) from that of the chief executive officer as at the moment, the two positions are merged into one.

The other challenge identified is the relation between the CPBN which is charged with the responsibility by law to evaluate and award bids and the review panel which deals with complaints regarding tenders and awarding thereof.

According to Shiimi, currently, the CPBN can award a bid and while unsuccessful bidders have seven days to lodge a complaint with the review panel, CPBN can, after seven days, continue to award the tender even when there are complaints lodged with the review panel.

“We want to change that so that there is a stay period when someone has complained then everything stops so that the review panel deals with the complaint.”

Shiimi said there are other areas being looked at for amendment and called on members of the public and stakeholders to participate in the amendments process.

Source: Namibia Press Agency