RakgadiMotseto.jpgThe challenge for emerging businesses to access government opportunities continues

Most suppliers believe that doing business with government is easy: it amounts to applying for a job that has no specified minimum requirements, where your business is merely distinguished from the rest.

In this month’s SmartProcurement, Rakgadi Motseto, Chief Director: Stakeholders and Client Management Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, responds to questions practitioners commonly ask about suppliers.

Q1:
If you are developing a black-owned small business, how do you promote and create market access for the business in government, considering that government and Treasury cannot be seen to support specific suppliers?

Government can only develop suppliers where the barriers to entry are high in terms of compliance and cost. National Treasury is not directly responsible for developing suppliers, the Ministry of Small Business Development is. National Treasury is responsible for providing policies for government to comply with when developing businesses. Please read the PPPFA regulations of 2017.

Q2:
How does National Treasury practically support and develop small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs)?

National Treasury issued the revised PPPFA regulations of 2017, which indicate how procuring government entities should empower and develop SMMEs. The Ministry of Small Business Development is responsible for developing and supporting SMMEs.

Q3:
Why are companies registered on the central supplier database (CSD) and not called to quote?

If the services / commodities that you are registered for on the CSD are not required by government, they will not ask you to provide quotations. Government plans in order to decide on the services / goods that they will need to procure to support the objectives of government. These decisions are not based on what suppliers register on the CSD. The decisions to buy flow from what each department has planned and reflected in their Strategic Plan document as well as the Annual Performance Plan.

Q4:
What support can I – as a Supply Chain Management (SCM) practitioner – receive from the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) and Supply Chain Management ICT?

‘Support’ is too broad. However, senior SCM managers are responsible for the development of SCM staff. For training, the National School of Government (NSG) has a footprint across the country in terms of training and development, and implements training endorsed by capacity building within National Treasury. National Treasury is currently working with higher learning institutions to align SCM curricula to cover government practice.

Q5:
What assistance does Treasury provide when communicating with departmental suppliers?

There are no departmental suppliers anymore. Suppliers are sourced from the CSD. However, each organ of state, as per the SCM prescripts, needs to have a Supplier Development Day, which should be open to all suppliers, either per province / city / category, as outlined in the PPPFA regulations of 2017, depending on the department’s goals / targets in terms of development and empowerment.

Q6:
What should departments do if a supplier’s bank details are not verified? Must SCM practitioners amend banking details on behalf of suppliers?

No, it is the responsibility of the supplier to manage and keep their compliance record positive at all times. You cannot amend the supplier profile or pay money into an account that has not been verified.

Q7:
If suppliers only have a ‘R’ number, are they disqualified?

The ‘R’ number does not indicate the verified compliance status of the supplier record. Only the ‘MAAA’ number is valid to transact with government. ‘R’ numbers indicate incomplete registration and verification processes.