Treasury open to proposals on money checks

Herald Reporter

THE Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion is open to proposals that will improve the value for money checks meant to ensure that Government gets fair returns in its procurement process, a senior official has said.

The checks were introduced in 2022 after changes in the procurement law gave the Ministry the right to reject a tender and the responsibility to ensure that value was given for the money it was expected to pay.

In the National Assembly on Tuesday, Murehwa West MP Cde Farai Jere asked the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, whether the current process of obtaining the value for money was not a repetition of the adjudication done in the initial stages of tendering.

“Procurement goes through a rigorous tendering process whereby you are then awarded an order. The value for money issue is at the tail end of the process, so it will be more like we are repeating what has been done during the adjudication period. Why can we not put it at adjudication stage so that it also gives confidence to the banking system?” Cde Jere said.

He said banks were no longer confident to lend to suppliers as it was no longer certain that they would be paid even after winning a tender.

In response, Prof Ncube said the current audit process would remain in place, but he was open to suggestions to improve it.

“As I said earlier, we are open to suggestions if it will improve the efficiency of the process, but we do not want to be involved in the cumbersome procurement process. 

“We just want to check financial issues that are very clear in terms of value for money by comparing whatever the value of the contract is, whatever is available out there, with the Budget so that they can check for competitive pricing as well as deal with any possibilities of corruption. I hear you well and we will look into that. I think your proposal is good,” he said.

The audits have saved Government over $500 billion.

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