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News & Press: 2020 News Items

Public Procurement Bill open for public comment

Friday, 21 February 2020  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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The National Treasury is seeking public comments into the recently published draft Public Procurement Bill.

The draft bill proposes a single regulatory framework for procurement applicable to national, provincial and local government, as well as state owned entities.

In a statement on Wednesday, Treasury said once the bill becomes law, it will eliminate fragmentation in the laws that deal with public sector procurement.

“The Bill creates a more flexible preferential procurement regime and enables the Minister of Finance, after consulting responsible Ministers, to prescribe a framework for preferential procurement.

 “To advance economic opportunities for previously disadvantaged people, specific provision is made for women; the youth and people with disabilities; small businesses; locally produced goods, including local technology and its commercialisation,” it said.

Public comments into the bill that proposes the repeal of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act of 2000 and do away with its preferential point system is open for public comment until 31 May 2020.

The key areas of regulation in the bill are:

• General procurement requirements;

• An enabling framework for preferential procurement;

• establishing a Public Procurement Regulator within the National Treasury and its functions;

• Determining the functions of Provincial Treasuries;

• Measures to ensure the integrity of the procurement process, including sanctions in the form of debarment and criminal offences;

• The power to prescribe different methods of procurement, one of which is procurement from another organ of state, and bidding processes;

• A framework for supply chain management;

• Dispute resolution mechanisms entailing review within an institution and also by the Regulator and the Provincial Treasuries and then an independent Tribunal, to resolve disputes expeditiously and to limit the need to litigate in the courts; and

• The repeal and amendment of certain laws.

Modernising public procurement

National Treasury said the modernisation of public procurement necessitates procurement that is developmental in nature; ensures value for money in the use of public funds; aspires to expand the productive base of the economy among others.

Treasury has, over the past few years, embarked on a process to reform and modernise public procurement.

Among these was the strategic sourcing principles to introduce a differentiated procurement approach for different types of commodities and to move away from the one size fits all approach.

Strategic procurement introduces alternative sourcing strategies for complex procurement of capital projects, infrastructure, and construction and cost containment measures.

Over the years, the National Treasury also introduced the procurement of common goods through transversal contracts to benefit from economies of scale, bulk buying and achieve much needed savings.

To improve efficiencies, the department also introduced the Central Supplier Database, where all suppliers that do business or intend doing business with the State, are registered without having to register on each and every government database as was the case previously.

The draft Bill and details about the submission of comment are available on the National Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.za). – SAnews.gov.za