The key speaker, was the Director General of ZPPA, Mr. Danies Chisenda. He presented the ongoing government initiatives being implemented aimed at improving the overall procurement process system with the biggest highlight being the introduction of an electronic procurement system. The E-procurement system is being piloted in selected provinces and government procuring entities. It is expected to be rolled out in 2019. He informed that ZPPA will be working closely with procurements entities as well as the private sector in order to enhance capacity on the use of the system. This will include hands on trainings.
Mr Nasir Ali, Board member of EUZBC board and chairperson of the procurement subcommittee, made his presenting focusing on six (6) key recommendations to the improvement of the procurement system. While this is welcomed improvement, the members of the EUZBC highlighted some additional improvements that would help make the procurement process effective, efficient and transparent. Some of the issues raised for discussions were:
- Process for providing feedback or raise any issues need to be simplified. Currently any administration level issues have to be raised with ZPPA.
- Consideration should be given to setting of minimal quality standards leveraging from internationally accepted procurement standards which ensures that a standard is maintained for quality of service to be provided by the bidders and ensures that the proposals are comparable in terms of quality to be expected.
- The volume of paperwork required as part of procurement process need to be reconsidered to ensure that there is relationship between the request and the value that is added to bidding process as result of the submissions and are relevant to the size and nature of the procurement being conducted.
- Consideration should be given to recourse when procurement process is cancelled without any explanation or any refunds for the money spent by the bidders on submission of bids.
- Consideration need to be given to duration for which bidders are selected as part of procurement process. If the selection of a particular bidder is for a certain period than there is should not be need for re-tendering during that period unless there are concerns over the quality over the delivery of the contract
ZPPA took note of the issues raised and urged the members of the subcommittee on procurement to interact more with them in order to assist them improve the procurement process. ZPPA also encouraged members to familiarise themselves with the new electronic system through the free training sessions they are offering.