SMEs unfamiliar with Procurement Act

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Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya-It has come to light that some small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not familiar with the newly enacted Public Procurement Act of 2015, which replaces the Tender Board Act to enhance transparency.

Out of a group of 20 entrepreneurs in Omuthiya who attended a breakfast business meeting at the Omuthiya Town Council only one seemed well acquainted with the new Act.

The meeting was aimed at sensitizing SMEs in the town of the new Act and what it entails.
CEO of the Omuthiya Town Council, Samuel Mbango, underscored that it was necessary for the council to hold such sessions to avoid confusion and misunderstanding in future when tenders are awarded, as it will now be done differently as opposed to when under the Tender Board Act.

“We don’t want instances where SMEs will complain why a certain entrepreneur was issued such a tender and on what grounds. The layout is stipulated in the Act on how we should act going forward,” he said.

The Procurement Act came about as a result of alleged irregularities and favouritism observed under the Tender Board which was used as a cash cow for well-connected individuals as they were awarded tenders more often than other bidders.

The Procurement Act aspires to regulate the procurement of goods, works and services, the letting or hiring of anything or the acquisition or granting of rights.

In addition, it makes provision for the appointment of bid evaluation committees and procurement methods, as well as a bidding process whereby bids can be challenged and reviewed.

Furthermore it aims at promoting employment among Namibians by giving preference to local people, and goods manufactured, mined, extracted, produced and grown in Namibia.

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