By Nation Reporter
THE Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) says it followed the law when it authorised the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to award the tender to the Dubai Company, A1 Ghurair Printing and Publishing Plc to print this year’s general elections ballot papers.
ZPPA Director General Chibelushi Musongole said in an interview on Friday that ZPPA followed the laid down procedures as provided for in the Procurement Act.
He was reacting to demands by the UPND over queries raised on the awarding of the Dubai printing company.
The UPND has demanded that the ZPPA provides letters to the party on which the authority to print ballot papers in Dubai was given.
UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka alleged in the letter to the ZPPA that the authority did not follow the procurement procedure as stipulated when giving a go ahead to the ECZ to print in Dubai.
Dr Musongole said the authority would respond accordingly to the UPND over the queries they had raised on the awarding of a tender to A1 Ghurair.
“I wish to confirm that the UPND have written to us and we will be responding to them accordingly. We will respond to the questions that they have put to us. I can assure you that we were within the law and at no point do we want to go against the Procurement Act,” he said.
He said that the public needed to have confidence in the ZPPA as it was guided by the Procurement Act whenever carrying out its mandate.
“The public out there should trust ZPPA because we are guided by the Act at all times. We adhere to the provisions whenever carrying out our mandate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ZPPA and the Auditor General’s office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Mr Musongole said that Government had been losing colossal sums of money due to poor management of contracts.
Later in the day, ZPPA and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) signed an MOU meant to enhance capacity building for officers in their work.
He said that the collaborations and the sharing of information on suspected procurement malpractices in the public procurement process.
ACC acting director general Irene Lamba said that the partnership was a milestone in the fight against corruption in public procurement.
Ms Lamba said that the MoU would enhance, strengthen and augment the already existing working relationship with ZPPA.
And Dr Musongole said that the introduction of an electronic government procurement (EGP) system was one of the ways to help get over hurdles in public procurement processes unlike the manual system which he said was prone to abuse.
He said that the EGP would be launched on July 8, 2016 as a pilot project in six institutions, namely ZPPA itself, Ministry of Higher Education, Ndola City Council, Ministry of Health, Workers Compensation Control Board and Ministry of Works and Supply.
He said the process would give Government value for its money and appealed to the public to support the system as it was meant to