THE Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has recorded over 1,500 suppliers registered on the Electronic Government Procurement (E-GP) system since its launch on July 8 this year, a move that is aimed at enhancing transparency.
ZPPA director general Chibelushi Musongole told the media in Lusaka yesterday that a total of 1,583 suppliers had registered on the E-GP system, a move he said would enhance transparency, fairness and accountability in the procurement process.
Mr Musongole said that the pilot project was progressing well and that ZPPA had conducted training to help suppliers and public officers learn to use the system efficiently as well as sensitisation campaigns which would ensure that the public sector was ready for the full implementation of the E-GP system in 2017.
He expressed happiness that the procurement body was receiving a lot of cooperation from institutions where the electronic system had been piloted.
“The E-GP system will help enhance transparency, fairness, and accountability as there have been a lot of complaints in the past. Currently, we are piloting the system in six institutions and the Ministry of Health is one of them.
In terms of updates I wish to inform you that ZPPA has recorded a total of 1,583 suppliers registered on the E-GP system as at September 8th 2016. These registrations were done by suppliers themselves online,” he said.
Mr Musongole urged more suppliers to register on the E-GP before the end of October as the online registration is currently free of charge.
He has called on public and Government departments to start developing annual procurement plans for 2017 as without this prerequisite no public procurement would be included on the E-GP system.
Mr Musongole said that the system faced challenges such as weak internet connection in some areas but that dongles have been of help and he also called upon procurement entities to pay contractors and suppliers once they were satisfied with the goods and services offered to them.
He said that he was pleased that five tenders had been conducted so far in its pilot sites and would upload another big tender from the Ministry of Health, making a total of six tenders.
Speaking at the same function, Ministry of Health permanent secretary Peter Mwaba in a speech read on his behalf by head procurement Matilda Zyambo said that the E-GP system would help save time and money on evaluation, advertising and addressing appeals on procurement processes.
Dr Mwaba said that the ministry was one of the largest spending Government agencies and that the electronic system would help speed up the process as well as bring about transparency.