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Procurement Authority operates without board, DG

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By Serah Makondetsa:

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Authority does not have a board of directors, a development which has led to the authority’s failure to appoint a director general and deputy director general.

PPDA is a government department which, among others, is responsible for the regulation, monitoring and oversight of public procurement and disposal of assets in Malawi.

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In an emailed response, PPDA Public Relations Officer Grace Thipa said the new PPDA Act which was passed by Parliament in 2017 stipulates that board of directors of the authority appoint the two positions.

Thipa admitted that the absence of the two key positions affects some administrative decisions.

“While the technical side of the office is proceeding efficiently, in the absence of the board of directors and director general, some administrative decisions such as enforcement of penalties, disciplinary matters, have to be pended.

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“The board has not yet been approved but is expected to comprise one member each nominated by the Malawi Law Society, Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply, Malawi Institute of Engineers, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi. Section 6 (3) of the PPDA indicates that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority board shall provide strategic direction in order to ensure that the PPDA attains its functions,” she said.

However, Thipa said the authority has an acting director general in place.

Thipa said, according to the PPDA Act, in the absence of a director general and deputy director general, a duly qualified person within the authority must be appointed temporarily.

“The PPDA currently has an Acting Director General, Mr Timothy Kalembo, who was appointed to that office following the retirement of Mr Arnold Chirwa earlier in June. Mr Chirwa retired after serving in the public service for 34 years.

“Section 14 (2) of the PPD Act guides that if both the director general and deputy director general are absent from duty or unable, for any other reason, to perform the functions of their offices, another duly qualified person within the authority be appointed to act as director general during such temporary absence or vacancy,” she said.

Minister of Information and Communications Tecchnology Henry Mussa acknowledged the importance of the two positions but said he has to find out why the board has not been appointed yet.

“The two positions are very important and I have to find out from the Ministry of Finance on why the board has not been appointed yet. Because procurement matters are dealt with at the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

According to the PPDA Act, the director general is responsible for providing leadership and oversight, implementing disciplinary measures to prevent misconducts throughout the procurement and disposal processes and managing bidders’ grievances and protests.

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