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EZULWINI – Reckless! This best describes how government spends nearly E10 billion of public funds in procurement of goods and services without following the laid down procedure.  

The Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (SPPRA) has made a scathing revelation on how public funds get used by parastatals and how central government procures goods and services without adhering to the Public Procurement Act of 2011, especially section 45 which informs processes of how a tender should be issued and granted.

SPPRA Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Musa Sikhondze decried the manner in which public funds were being used up without adhering to the act. He mentioned that parastatals such as the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) fully adhered to the act but there remained a lot of entities that breach the law almost on a daily basis.

“For now, the target is to improve the level of compliance to at least 50 per cent,” said Sikhondze during a media awareness workshop convened at Sibane Hotel last Friday.
The acting CEO said government spends approximately E10 billion on procurement per annum on average. He stated that they remained challenged to develop systems that would ensure that there is value for money as government undertakes procurement procedures but were challenged by the a number of issues that include budgetary constraints and being understaffed. 

The Director Policy, Legislation and Investigations Buhle Dlamini said out of 92 entities, especially in central government, only three adhere to the procurement act. He mentioned that from investigations undertaken by the agency, two had been submitted to law enforcing agencies for legal action. 
“At present, we do not know how many tenders are being issued by government which provides the main reason why we are looking at developing a system that will link with central government in order to improve the level of compliance,” said Dlamini.

Independent calculations by the Business Desk on the basis of statistics provided by Dlamini reflected that 97 per cent of government institutions do not adhere to the act.  
In terms of the act, the SPPRA should be informed by the procuring entity of any procurement to be undertaken, be informed of the intention to award a contract and also be informed on whom the tender has been awarded to but this hardly happens with a lot of government institutions which makes it hard for the agency to execute their mandate.

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