Draft Public Procurement Bill before cabinet
The government’s procurement policies are to be revamped by the Public Procurement Bill, which is currently before the cabinet.
Acting chief procurement officer Willie Mathebula outlined the provisions in the draft bill at a meeting of parliament’s standing committee on finance on Thursday, which was briefed by Treasury officials on the department’s annual performance and strategic plans for 2019/2020.
Mathebula said that there are a host of different laws governing procurement and the primary purpose of the draft bill is to eliminate the fragmentation of the system and have a nationally applicable piece of legislation that will regulate public procurement in the country.
The draft bill also seeks to consolidate all the supply chain management instructions issued by the Treasury, which have become complicated and unwieldy to apply. This will assist those both in SA and internationally who want to do business with the government.
“Currently, we don’t have a single, overarching public procurement legislation in this country. There is a lot of fragmentation,” Mathebula said, adding there are a host of laws governing national, provincial and local governments which govern procurement.
The draft bill would also strengthen governance and compliance and makes provision for a preferential procurement system that is intended to address the imbalances of the past.
The draft bill provides for an alternative dispute settlement system, which would obviate the need to take disputes to courts in a costly process. It will also regulate deviations from the provisions.
Once passed by cabinet the bill will be gazetted for public comment.