Tender information leakages haunt PPADB

John addressing members of the press. PIC: TSELE TSEBETSAME
John addressing members of the press. PIC: TSELE TSEBETSAME

The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) says it is grappling to curtail the overwhelming tide of premature information leakages during the evaluation and adjudication of tenders.

According to the executive chairperson of PPADB, Bridget John, premature leaking of information at evaluation and adjudication stages disrupted project implementation with bid losers running to courts to seek interdicts.

She said leaking of information did not only present ethical problems but also exposed PPADB to litigation, which led to project implementation delays.

Delays in turn inordinately affected citizens who utilised the projects, especially when considering that a civil suit in Botswana could drag on for many years before it is disposed of by the courts, she said.

“These legal battles erupting from bidders who challenge the board’s decisions are very detrimental to the operations of the board as they cause setbacks,” said John.

She further noted that PPADB, whose mandate is to adjudicate and award tenders for central government and other quasi-government institutions, had started investigations on an ongoing basis to stem out incidents of information leakages. She urged procurement personnel and consultants to adhere to confidentiality requirements at all times.

John said although they had appealed to members of the public alleging corruption to present evidence to help institute investigations into the procurement process, there is very little coming forth.  She said, instead, they are still grappling with perception and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption in the tendering system.

“Some complainants send anonymous letters which makes it difficult for us to contact them and get clarity on the allegations. We need people to come up with detailed information that would make our investigations easy,” she said.

She however noted that the issue was being addressed through enhancement transparency in procurement by disclosing evaluation criteria in the Invitations to Tender (ITTs), publishing of board and committee decisions, undertaking capacity building for stakeholders to appreciate tendering procedures and processes, debriefing as well as complaints review.

“Those who have information that there is corruption in procurement should present their reports to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime for investigation,” she said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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