EstelleSetan.jpgNational Treasury is aware of the shortcomings of government’s existing public procurement processes, admitted National Treasury chief director of strategic procurement in the office of the chief procurement officer Estelle Setan in her address at the Smart Procurement World Conference in September.

She noted that her office had placed current public procurement realities under the microscope in response to increasing pressure from the public, the Finance Minister and the Auditor General.

“Change is going to happen in procurement in the public sector. We are looking at our strategies and how we use the supply chain, as supply chain management has been identified by the Auditor General as one of six key risk areas [in government]. We can do better,” she commented.

Introducing strategic sourcing within national and provincial government’s procurement practises would improve the quality of commodities and services secured by State institutions. R136-billion was spent on securing goods, services, machinery and equipment, said Setan.

Furthermore, Setan advocated a differentiated approach to public procurement, in which different sourcing approaches were adopted for various products and services, adding that there are three types of procurement within government, each of which required a differentiated approach – universal strategic procurement, department-specific sourcing and sector-specific procurement).

 

GeoQuinot.pngHowever, this differentiated procurement approach is complicated by the regulatory environment governing this practise, noted Stellenbosch University law professor Geo Quinot.

Government’s standardised procurement suffered from extreme fragmentation and is a “disaster” scenario. “A [difficulty in] the regulatory regime is that [the State] is unable to develop over-arching strategies across various departments. We must revisit the basic structure of regulatory systems and make them more streamlined,” argued Quinot during his conference address.

Smart Procurement World success – 2300 attendees!

“The conference was excellent!… I was impressed with the subject matter of the presentations and workshops, [which] addressed current priorities in procurement and supply chain management,” said Richard A. Huebner, President of Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, Texas.

September’s Smart Procurement World Gauteng Conference hosted 650 delegates and 115 speakers. The co-located Absa ED Exhibition gave 580 SMME representatives a chance to meet with the 650 visiting buyers.

To ensure that all attendees engaged in fruitful networking at the event Smart Procurement World facilitated hundreds of pre-arranged meetings, via the BizLink meeting system, in dedicated ‘Meeting Zones’, said Debbie Tagg, Smart Procurement COO.

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the conference. I enjoyed the conference and got a lot of useful information and contacts from it. I hope that by next year’s conference, AfriSam will be able to contribute with some success stories from our ED programme.” Sammy Reddy, Procurement Administration Manager, AfriSam (South Africa), a visiting buyer.

Furthermore, all event attendees had access to SPW Mobile Event App, which gave attendees updated conference programmes, speaker updates, competitions details and on-floor workshop reminders. The App, launched at the Gauteng event, enjoyed almost 2100 detail views.

New in 2014 In partnership with SAPICS, Smart Procurement World held the inaugural Smart Inbound Supply Chain Conference, which addressed the core issues faced by companies and departments in their inbound supply chains as they deliver to consumer markets.

Furthermore, the Inaugural BEE Smart Conference was launched at the 2014 Gauteng event, in collaboration with the Association of BEE Verification Agencies (ABVA) and Grant Thornton Verification Services. The conference focused on the revised BEE Codes (the link between measurement criteria and the economy, control, ownership and leadership); understanding the economic motivation behind the New Codes; and solving the procurement conundrum through black ownership, joint ventures and sponsored black ownership.

 

SectorSpecificMeetings.pngFinally, the five sector-specific ‘meet & greets’ (Construction & Facilities; ITC; Petrochemical, Mining, Chemical; Services; and Manufacturing) were very successful.