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Saturday, 25 November 2017 15:42

Procurement officers urged to check bid rigging

Written by  Daniel Kasondo
Katungwe: Government resources go down the drain through exaggerated prices of goods Katungwe: Government resources go down the drain through exaggerated prices of goods

Thyolo, November 25, 2017: Government resources could be saved if procurement officers understood and guarded against 'bid rigging'  by bidders in the procurement processes, Senior Economist in the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), Fexter Katungwe, has said. 

"Government resources go down the drain through exaggerated prices of goods, contract given to substandard bidder, some bidders withdrawing [from the process] to pave way for a member of their association. All these are against the Competition and Fair Trading Act,” said Katungwe.

Katungwe said this Wednesday during a sensitization meeting with procurement officers drawn from government sectors in Thyolo.

He said government provides services which involve procurement of goods, hence the importance for procurement officers to be well versed with common forms of bid rigging to avoid procuring substandard goods and services.

He said: “Efficient and competitive procurement is a key to improved public service delivery, as goods and services obtained are of value for the money.”

In his remarks, Procurement Officer for Thyolo District Council, Fridy Mwanza, said the meeting was a real eye opener as it tackled pertinent issues that affect procurement procedures at the council level.

She admitted that some government officers do not follow procurement procedures to serve their own interests.

"Currently, we have situations where other officers go out sourcing quotations instead of leaving the task to the procurement officer. And some officers connive with suppliers and disclose [tender] information on council tenders,” she said.

Mwanza said if government officers followed procurement procedures, bid rigging would be eliminated in the councils, thereby saving government resources in the process.

She, therefore, asked CFTC to intensify sensitization meetings to check the vice.

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