October 6th, 2012

By Felix Lazaro, The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Deputy Finance minister Saada Mkuya Salum has called for formulation of more initiatives that will address problems of bureaucracy and secrecy that mar the country’s public procurement practices.

Speaking on Wednesday during the Commonwealth Public Procurement Network 2012 African Regional Conference in Dar es Salaam, she said despite various procurement reforms undertaken, the desired results were yet to be fully achieved.

“Our countries have procurement legislations and bodies to oversee their implementation. Despite these impressive structures and reforms we all complain about bureaucracy and secrecy surrounding these procurement systems,” said Ms Salum.

Lack of transparency in procurement, she said, needed to be addressed to improve efficiency and diligence, particularly in realizing value for money, quality and timely delivery.

She expressed her optimism that the meeting would act as a catalyst to the country’s procurement regime as well as those of other African countries and the deliberations bring forth procurement experiences and best practices.

Ms Salum said if the right inputs and appropriate processes of procurement were put in place, the chance of getting good outputs were high.

“Our people want to see good services in the health sector, education, water and others, while they all happened within the budget,” she said.

For his part, retired Justice Thomas Mihayo said after Tanzania had operationalised the Public Procurement Act, 2004 for sometimes, it has become clear that it was not just the matter of compliance but the need to go beyond that and see if the Act delivers the intended goals.

“Are we really getting value for the money spent? Are the social and environmental concerns addressed when making procurement decisions?” quarried Justice Mihayo whos is the Acting chairman of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority’s board of directors.

Justice Mihayo said the meeting should be the catalyst for the country to achieve necessary reforms in its public procurement system for it to deliver effective and sustainable outcomes.