October 8, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Principal Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance has spoken about plans by the ministry to discourage sole sourcing in the procurement of goods and services.
According to Mathew Dingie, ministries, departments and agencies sometimes use sole sourcing when they do not want to follow procurement processes and procedures in carrying out their activities.
“The Financial Secretary has made it clear that going forward we do not talk of sole sourcing. It really has to be exceptional to hear about sole sourcing. This is where MDAs asked for exemptions and reasons why they should not follow procurement rules,” he said.
He noted that some contracts come up sometimes under the guise of sole sourcing, with bloated amount, which the budget cannot really afford.
He revealed that 90-95% of the US$10.7 trillion inherited on domestic supplier arrears from the past regime relate to procurement of goods and services and that there were contracts signed that were not fully honoured, but now government debt.
“We want to ensure going forward we abide by what the act requires to be adhered by all MDAs in carrying out procurement activities. It is no hidden secret that 60-70% of the discretionary budget of government goes to procurement. With such significant amount of money, if it is not utilised well or the systems and processes not followed in carrying out procurement, it will result to a loss,” Mr. Dingie noted and called for the efficient use of resources and ensure that services were delivered effectively.
Going forward, the principal deputy financial secretary said they wanted to make sure they sign contracts for goods and services for which funds are available and done effectively and efficiently to ensure value for money.
Mr. Dingie described procurement as a commitment, and once the government has committed itself, it could not easily retract from it because it has the tendency to dent its credibility.
“Should we continue to sign contracts but not paying on them, we have to curtail such practice going forward,” he added.