The government is cleaning up its procurement systems to prevent leakages and better police public servants doing business with the state, in order to ensure that it derives maximum benefit from its projected R1.5-trillion spend on acquiring goods and services in the medium term. The government spends billions a year procuring goods, from shoe polish and toilet paper to major purchases, but the system has been riddled with inefficiencies and has been fragmented, with those procuring goods for the state often deviating from the rules. However, in 2014 President Jacob Zuma signed the Public Administration Management Act, which sets out the rules for public servants doing business with the state. The Treasury, through the office of the chief procurement officer, has also introduced a central supplier database to streamline government procurement and make the process more uniform. The office manages 71 transversal contracts covering up to 23,000 items worth R61bn. This has assisted the ...

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