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Position on centralization of tender processes and procurement as
proposed by the General Laws Amendment Bill 2010
Residents Association (BPRA)
March 04, 2011
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of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in the government of National
Unity, Patrick Chinamasa introduced the General
Laws Amendment Bill of 2010 to Parliament for discourse, deliberation
and if agreed upon, ratification into law. The Bill is set to be
presented at public hearings across the country in the upcoming
months. The Parliament of Zimbabwe, having passed a paltry seven
Acts in 2010 by Zimbabwean standards, is set to amend a number of
laws so as to centralize all procurement and tender allocation by
local authorities to fall under one national body. Currently, all
government Ministries in need of goods to undertake their various
mandates have to go through the State Procurement Board empowered
by the Procurement Act (22:14) while local authorities procure their
goods through Municipal Procurement Boards as stipulated by the
Councils Act (29:15). The implications of this amendment do
not bode well for residents, policy implementation and cities across
the country because of a number of reasons that shall be outlined
The Urban Councils
Act of 1995 is the law governing the calling for tenders by municipalities.
Basically, this act places the responsibility for appointing the
Municipal Procurement Board for the municipality (and its members)
on the municipal council.
council shall appoint a municipal procurement board consisting
of not less than five and not more than seven members, which shall
be responsible for arranging tenders in terms of section two hundred
and eleven and for making recommendations to the council in regard
to the acceptance of tenders and the procurement of goods, materials
and services.(Urban Councils Act 29:15 Section 210)
Regulations are based on the Model Law on Procurement of Goods and
Construction adopted by the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Law in 1993.
Of concern to the BPRA are clauses 12, 18 and 19 of the Bill.
Clause 12 amends
the Procurement Act [Chapter 22:14] so that all local authorities
are deemed to be procuring entities in terms of the Act. The clause
amends Section 2 ("interpretation") (2) of the Procurement
Act by the repeal of the proviso and the substitution of the following:
"Provided that the Minister shall not make any such declaration
in relation to a person other than a body corporate wholly owned
or controlled by the state without that person's consent."
Clause 18 repeals
section 79 of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] which
provides for contracts and tenders of councils. The tendering process
will be done in terms of the procurement Act [Chapter 22:14].
Clause 19 repeals
sections 210 and 211 of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] which
provides for the Procurement Board and the tender process respectively,
which is proposed to fall under the ambit of the Procurement Act.
What these three
clauses 12, 18 and 19 seek to do is to centralize all procurement
of local authorities, both urban and rural. Whereas there are 91
procurement boards from Zimbabwe's 91 local authorities, the
Bill seeks to abolish the procurement boards so that all the councils
fall under one procurement board, the State Procurement Board.
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