SSB flouts tender processes, pays $122,000 for cellphones

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The report tabled in Parliament last week further indicates that reputable suppliers may have been denied a chance to make competitive bids.
The report tabled in Parliament last week further indicates that reputable suppliers may have been denied a chance to make competitive bids.

Harare – An audit into the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) has revealed that  government might have lost a lot of money due to the procurement of laptops and cell phones without following tender procedures, the Mail and Telegraph has learnt.

In a report,  Auditor General Mildred Chari, said she could not satisfy herself whether the goods were obtained at best advantage to the government.

“Contrary to section 30 and 31 of the Procurement Act (Chapter 22:14) as read in conjunction with section 6 of Statutory Instrument 171 of 2002, the fund procured on separate occasions during the financial year under review 220 HP Laptops, office furniture and 270 Huawei Ascend 3YC mobile phones at costs of  $77 000, $26 820 and $19 980 respectively without following informal tender procedures. Therefore, I could not satisfy myself whether these goods were obtained at best advantage to the government,” she said.

The report tabled in Parliament last week further indicates that reputable suppliers may have been denied a chance to make competitive bids.

“Value for money may not be realised if transparent bidding processes are not adhered to as reputable suppliers may be denied a chance to make competitive bids.

“The fund should adhere to procurement procedures as required in terms of section 30 and 31 of the Procurement Act (Chapter 22:14) as well as the requirements of Statutory Instrument 171of 2002,” the report says.

The report further reveals that the purchases were done through two different procurement committees.

“The purchases were done through two different procurement committees at SSB and the other at Public Service Commission head office.

“Although there were two separate procurement  committees, the actual approval of the purchases was centralised. The fund administrators should have synchronised purchasing decisions in order to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness. 

The report, however, stated: “However such issues would not arise in the future since a centralised procurement committee was constituted in September 2016 for all procurement in the Public Service Commission.”