Optimising a R1.1 trillion budget through procurement reform

Government would not receive full value from its R1.1-trillion 2012 budget unless strides were made to improve spending efficiency and reduce corruption, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan acknowledged in his budget speech in February.

Government is taking steps to strengthen efficiency in public spending, to eliminate wastage, improve the alignment between allocations and policy priorities, and to root out corruption.

“[Government] needs stricter oversight of supply chain management processes… We will [counter] fragmentation in the system and strengthen the national procurement architecture.”

“We will strengthen financial management in the public sector, pursue value for money with the greatest possible vigour and ensure that taxpayers’ money is well used,” said the Minister.

He added that steps will also be taken to improve the ability of departments to set the specifications for tenders in the tender process.

Furthermore, National Treasury will appoint a CPO who will have overall responsibility for monitoring procurement across the government, said Gordhan. The government intends to advertise externally for the post and said it has not identified a date by which it expects to have filled the role.

The competencies and capabilities required by staff working in procurement would be reviewed and strict vetting of all procurement officers will take place before any appointments are made, said Gordhan.

The tax clearance system would be strengthened to ensure that those who had defrauded the State could no longer do business with government, Gordhan announced.

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