Despite the recently issued directive by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein for the suspension of all tender contract awards, it appears there is a small ray of hope for tenderers.
Tenderers can still submit bids for advertised tenders and the Tender Board will continue with its weekly meetings to open submitted tenders. However, the awarding of the tenders will depend on when the Treasury is in good fiscal standing to release money for infrastructure development.
“Only new tenders for feasibility studies for capital projects and surveys under the operational budget will not be advertised in the local media until further notice,” said Leonie van Wyk, the spokesperson for the Tender Board of Namibia, on the tenders affected by the directive.
Van Wyk further said, “The reading of all other open tenders will continue as usual, but it is just the subsequent award thereof that was halted.”
In essence it means tenderers can still, as a consolation, submit bids for all newly advertised tenders, pending the awarding thereof, with the exception of the tenders mentioned in the ministerial directive.
The finance ministry directed that new tenders be frozen until such time the as “financial year 2016/17 budget review and re-prioritisation of capital projects are finalised.”
The finance ministry thus put a halt on releasing funds for all non-priority development projects, as part of efforts to place “public finances on a sustainable path.”
“No tender awards should be made, until such time that the FY2016/17 budget review and the reprioritisation of capital projects are finalised and similarly all new tenders for feasibility studies for the capital projects or surveys envisaged under the operational budget should be put on hold,” read the finance directive two weeks ago.
“Accounting officers should ensure that these directives also apply to new capital projects that are funded under the national budget, but fall under the execution mandate of the various public enterprises under their respective offices, ministries or agencies,” it said.
– This report first appeared in New Era Weekend on October 1, 2016.