Private sector to monitor tenders

Private sector to monitor tenders

MASERU – IN a move likely to enhance transparency, the private sector will now be represented on government tender panels.
This, after Ministry of Finance agreed to the private sector’s request to be observers on tender panels.
The idea is to make the government tender process transparent and fair.

The move follows an outcry from the private sector that public tenders were being rigged.
The involvement of the private sector is accordance with the Public Procurement Regulation Section 50(16) and 17 which says “the independent observer shall be present to assure the business community that the decision of the Tender Panel is made according to these regulations and to the standing instructions”.

Fako Hakane, Secretary-General of the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said until now tendering process was being administered by the public service only.
Hakane said the private sector did not trust the process.

“We realized that we also needed to partake in the process as at the end of the day the tenders are made for the private sector,” Hakane said.
“We should partake and shoulder any blames, if any, at the end of the process,” he said.
He added that they will now have representatives in all districts to be part of the tendering process.

“It is now critical for us to have adequate resources to train these representatives so that they become competent in their job.”
Meanwhile, Thabo Qhesi, CEO Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL), said that even during the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee it was clear that tenders were mishandled. This, he said, made the private sector’s participation urgent.

“It is our hope that moving forward the process will be a smooth and clear one where people can see that all procedures have been followed,” Qhesi said.
As a result each ministry or district is being assigned by two representatives whereby one will serve as an alternate.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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