PPADB officials stressed the procurement process is a long and arduous process involving planning, sourcing, contracting, contract management, storing, distribution, disposal and evaluation.
The initial process requires the identification of items and estimated cost, packaging items, selection of procurement method and scheduling. There is a multiplicity of processing including open bidding, restricted bidding, quotation proposals procurement, micro procurement and direct procurement.
“The choice of procurement method will be driven by either financial thresholds and circumstances,” said Lady Botlhole, PPADB Capacity Building Co-ordinator.
She said, “The open domestic bidding advertises opportunities with a minimum bidding period of four weeks and an evaluation process undertaken by a committee. Open international bidding has a minimum period of 6 weeks with adverts in international publications.”
Restricted bidding does not require a bid notice to be published with a minimum bidding period of two weeks. Quotations proposals procurement is faster and less formal than bidding. No bid notice is required and a minimum bidding period of seven days. In micro procurement, only one supplier is approached and no bidding document, written bid or signed contract is required.
Whereas direct procurement involves no competition and is used in emergency situations. There must be a clear separation of roles and responsibilities between evaluators and adjudicators, to avoid conflict of interest and a situation where one officer becomes a player and a referee.
Information relating to evaluation of tenders and recommendations concerning awards shall not be disclosed to contractors who submitted tenders or any other persons not officially concerned with the process but this should not be seen as not being transparent.
Evaluation Committees typically comprise of Ad Hoc Committees appointed by Accounting Officer, at least 3 members, procurement unit staff and do not include MTC/DATC staff.
Section 36 of Act stipulates: “No factor outside those explicitly stated in the bidding package(ITT) shall be taken into account by the evaluators in arriving at a recommendation.”
The evaluation methods range between quality and cost based selection, quality based selection stressing technical score, fixed budget selection focusing on technical aspects provided they are within budget, Least Cost based selection works and supplies, Least Cost based selection and Qualification Based Selection with the overriding issue being the best technical proposal.
Where there is a written petition from the public regarding issues within the Act, conflicts between the Board and its employees and appeals against disciplinary measures by the Board. Complaints are submitted in writing to the Ministerial Tender Committee(MTC) or the District Administration Tender Committee(DATC) within 14 days of becoming aware of the complaint.
A complainant is required to pay a fee of not less than P1,500 or more than P350,000.
The PPADB Act has a framework for the regulation and control of public procurement and disposal processes, including the registration/maintenance of the Register of Contractors, Code of Conduct setting minimum ethical standards for contractors, demand for fair and transparent tendering/commercial practices and provision for suspension and delisting of Contractors on failure to comply with the Code of Conduct or Terms of Contract.
Micro procurement thresholds target tenders up to P50,000 and allows for direct tendering without competition. Any tender within the DATC threshold and above micro procurement threshold may be made open. 20% of the value of the tenders should be automatically reserved for vulnerable identified groups and the eligibility should be 100% ownership, control and employment.
Evaluation processes often look at the price, preference schemes for locals, youth, women, disabled, capacity and past performance references.
With the approval of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy(CEE) by Parliament in August 2012 Batswana are offered additional opportunities to create wealth with introduction of reservation schemes, price preference schemes and mandatory subcontracting to citizens.
Reservations schemes for Citizen Consultants
“An informed media investigates and interrogates issues in the public interest without bias. It raises pertinent questions where it seems procedures are flawed or are not being followed. There is no doubt that a media which plays its role as expected will keep everybody in check, particularly those in decision making positions that involved the use of public funds such as public procurement in order to guard against abuse and wastage,” said Bridget John, Executive Chairperson for Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board(PPADB).
She said, “A media that is not impartial may be of little benefit to society and may be vulnerable to manipulation by those pushing self-interest. At PPADB we appreciate and respect the role of the media and find it necessary to empower the media with information on public procurement so that they may effectively play the role of a watchdog for the greater good of the society and assist the Board in educating the public.”