New rules clean up tenders

2010-05-05 00:00

COMPLAINTS about the lack of accountability and compliance in the awarding of government tenders may become a thing of the past in KwaZulu-Natal following the launch of a campaign to clean up the process and establish a new database for all service providers to the provincial government and municipalities.

The new supply chain management system, which is expected to play a big role in eliminating widespread tender corruption, was launched by Finance MEC Ina Cronje in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Flanked by top officials from the provincial Treasury, Cronje said the cleaning up of the suppliers’ registration database is expected to promote accountability and compliance while assisting the government with locating information and enabling it to rotate suppliers.

Since the introduction of the present tender system, there has been an outcry from suppliers that it is favouring applicants who are “connected” because it lacks a system to monitor how often each supplier is benefitting from government departments and municipalities.

Most tender beneficiaries who are said to be related to politicians are now referred to as “tenderpreneurs” as tenders are their source of business and wealth.

Cronje said yesterday, “The compiling of the new database, as well as the integration and training commences this month [May] and the provincial Treasury envisages implementing the system after testing it in June, 2010.”

The new system is expected to avert problems associated with the old system, which suffers from a lack of clarity of suppliers’ locations and core businesses; sometimes outdated, incorrect and incomplete information; and inadequate reporting capabilities for measuring Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Equity (BBBEEE).

The new system includes an interface with external organisations like the SA Revenue Service, and Cipro.

“The new database will enhance productivity, efficiency and compliance through effective document management and workflow,” Cronje said.

“It will also provide meaningful responses to departmental searches for goods and services, focus on user experience by being more graphic and simple and identify suppliers with poor track records, while also facilitating the rotation of suppliers.”

The provincial treasury has asked all service providers to re-register their businesses by completing a new ZNT registration form. Only applications on the new form will be considered for approval.

Provincial head of treasury Smiso Magagula announced that for the rest of May, the treasury iwill campaign aggressively to create awareness about the changes.

“There will be roadshows in the province starting in Zululand on May 6 and ending at eThekwini on May 31,” Magagula said.

 

Roadshows will be held to inform suppliers of the re-registration process:

•uMgungundlovu District (May 24 at 10 am) at YMCA Hall, PMB

•uThukela District (May 25 at 10 am) at Ladysmith Town Hall

•eThekwini District (May 31 at 10 am) at Durban Botanic Gardens Hall.

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