The new procurement guidelines are to be presented to Parliament within three months
By Chandani Kirinde
A fresh set of guidelines for the procurement of goods and services, work, consultancy services and information systems by Government institutions will be submitted to Parliament within the next three months after they were finalised following observations made by the Finance Ministry, official sources said.
Two review committees from the ministry had made observations, following Procurement Guidelines 2019 being published in the Gazette last week. Then the long-delayed guidelines are to be presented to Cabinet shortly before they are presented to Parliament for approval.
The guidelines published by the National Procurement Commission (NPC) will replace the 2006 guidelines and will come into force within 30 days of receiving parliamentary approval.
The guidelines have been complied in keeping with international best practices and are incorporated with provision for the use of electronic technology to attract more bidders, as well as to evaluate bids so that much of the irregularities that take place within the current procurement system are eliminated.
- Guidelines finalised with input from Finance Ministry
- Procurement Guidelines 2019 will replace 2006 rules
- Parliamentary approval expected within three months
- Guidelines constitute national policy, are mandatory and applicable to all Govt. procurements
- New guidelines promote environmentally friendly procurement
- Penalties for corrupt practices include debarment from process
The guidelines require the Government procurement process to ensure, among other things, transparency and accountability, provide fair, equal and maximum opportunity for eligible interested parties to participate in procurement and promote human wellbeing and support sustainable development by promoting environmentally friendly procurement while optimising resource utilisation and minimising the negative impact on the environment.
The guidelines also require regular publishing of procurement data in accordance with the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and enhanced stakeholder trust and confidence during the entire procurement process.
The guidelines, which constitute national policy and are mandatory and applicable to all procurements carried out by Government institutions, also address measures to prevent fraudulent and corrupt practices that take place during the procurement process.
All policy- and decision-makers, officials, bidders, contractors and suppliers, subcontractors, service providers, agents or any of their personnel are bound by the guidelines to the highest standards of ethics during the procurement process and contract execution and are required to be free from corrupt, fraudulent, collusive, coercive and obstructive practices.
If the existence of corrupt practices is confirmed through a formal inquiry, sanctions, including debarment from that procurement process or eligibility for future procurements will be imposed on bidders, contractors and officials and could additionally be reported to the respective authorities for appropriate action.
The procurement guidelines have been complied by the NPC, which was set up under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for the purpose of formulating fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective procedures and guidelines for the procurement of goods and services, works, consultancy services and information services by Government institutions.