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House Endorses Procurement Bill 2011

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 15, 2011
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    Tue, Nov 15th, 2011
    Tue, Nov 15th, 2011| Tanzania

    Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo

    The government on Monday announced procedures to be followed for procurement of used railway machinery, ships and aircraft.

    It has also deleted some provisions in the Public Procurement Bill 2011, that gave entities authority to undertake procurement of used heavy plants or machinery upon satisfying a certain criteria.

    The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Mustafa Mkulo, told the National Assembly here that a team of experts would make thorough scrutiny before procurement of used railway machinery, ships and crafts.

    "Owners of such used machinery, aircraft and ships will first present a comprehensive report to show life span, maintenance records and operational trends of such things.

    "The owners should also present certificate of seaworthiness or airworthness from reputable institutions," the minister said when winding up debate for The Public Procurement Bill, 2011.

    Several MPs expressed concern over questionable procurement procedures and urged the government to plug all loopholes to avoid compromising with safety standards, corrupt practices and massive losses.

    According to him, the minister responsible for finance will be forming ad hoc committees to scrutinise applications for procurement of used railway machinery, aircraft and ships.

    The committees will be advising the minister on such applications before he or she makes decisions.

    "The applications will also pass through the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) which will make their recommendations.

    "Regulations governing the law will clearly stipulate conditions and procedure for such procurement and will definitely plug loopholes for corruption, embezzlement and abuse of office," stressed Mr Mkulo.

    He noted that they had decided to remove the cabinet from procurement process and instead, the minister responsible for finance will take the responsiblity.

    Mr Mkulo noted further that the minister responsible for finance would make regulations providing for urgency of procurement and how best quality and value for money will be ensured.

    He said that life span of used railway machinery, aircraft and ships would be highly considered and all dishonest public officials would be taken to task.

    The minister stressed that the decision to procure used railway machinery, aircraft and ships was made in good faith and in public interest.

    "Government decision based on many factors including our state of the economy, time factor but it's also a common practice in many countries," he explained.

    The minister stated that the government had principally agreed to use embassies abroad and intelligence service to conduct due diligence for foreign companies bidding for local and international tenders.

    He also said that minister responsible for local government would make regulations to make sure councillors through their Finance and Planning committees are involved in procurement process in their respective councils.

    Meanwhile, tension rose in the National Assembly on Monday as some MPs and the government locked horns in two provisions of The Public Procurement Bill, 2011.

    Contentious provisions were section 66 (1) which proposes procurement of used railway machinery, aircraft and ships and section 104 (e) which proposes penalties to people convicted of public procurement offences.

    The MPs said that section 66 (1) was vague and it had failed to define terms like "public interest" and the word "used" creating loopholes for fraud, corruption, abuse of office, embezzlement and loss.

    "Where the public interest demands that railway machinery, civilian or military ship and civilian or military aircraft that has been used be procured, the procuring entity may, upon approval by the cabinet and the authority, proceed with normal or emergency procurement" states the section.

    Mr John Mnyika (Ubungo-CHADEMA), Mr Geofrey Zambi (Mbozi East-CCM) and Mr Alphaxard Lugola (Mwibara-CCM) wanted the provision deleted should the government fail to amend it.

    "There is no clear definition of the word "used" and this is a loophole and who determines public interest. The provision does not stipulate life span and specifications of such things," urged Mr Mnyika.

    The Attorney General, Judge Frederick Werema, replied that regulations would define those words and terms.

    However, the MPs stuck to their guns and demanded deletion or amendment of the provision on grounds that most of regulations made by ministers were lacking.

    The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda had to intervene by directing the Parliamentary Committee for by-laws to make sure it would pass through the regulations before they become operational.

    The AG, however, called on his lawyers to draft definition of ‘used' and brought it to the Parliament on Tuesday.

    The heat was then turned to the AG on penalties as section 104 (e) states that including other offences "loss of public properties and funds as a result of negligence in the implementation of this Act, commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of not less than ten million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or both."

    Mr Luhaga Mpina (Kisesa-CCM), Mr Mnyika, Mr Zambi, Mr Lugola, Ms Christina Mughwai (Special Seats-CHADEMA), Mr Suleiman Jafo (Kisarawe-CCM) and Dr William Mgimwa (Kalenga-CCM) urged that penalties were too lenient to offenders.

    They also wanted confiscation of assets of offenders.

    "I propose that the offenders should pay all the money in full and sentenced not less than 20 years and not more than 30 years.

    "We've been very strict on minor offences committed by common people but very soft to government officials, this is not fair," charged Mr Mpina.

    The AG tried to convince the legislators to cool tempers and be sober by leaving the penalties as they were something which raised more tension in the House.

    It reached a stage Mr Mpina and the AG exchanged words and the Speaker had to use wisdom to cool down them.

    Ms Makinda adjourned Parliament to on Monday evening to enable Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Economy to discuss the matter.

    The House finally passed the bill, which now await presidential assent to become law.

    By LEONARD MWAKALEBELA, Tanzania Daily News

  2. Sangarara

    Sangarara JF-Expert Member

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    Twafa weeeh