The World Bank is in the process of assessing Malawi’s public procurement system to identify weaknesses and gaps and to match the system with international best practices and standards.
The assessment, which started mid-January this year and ends in June, is punching holes into the four main pillars of the procurement system including the legislative framework, institutional framework, procurement practices and accountability, integrity and transparency.
The consultants that the bank hired to conduct the assessment are meeting stakeholders in the procurement system for their input and insist their initial findings and recommendations are not ready for public consumption.
Speaking during the consultations in Lilongwe yesterday, Chief Professional Development Officer at the Public Procurement and Disposal of Asset Authority, Peter Makanga, said he does not expect the country to dispute results of the assessment.
“Let’s take the assessment seriously. It is like a mirror and it tells us what we are. The team doing the assessment is independent and it is taking no sides.
“If a doctor tells you that you have a problem and that doctor gives you prescription, you map the way forward from there. I hope what the consultants have observed in their report is a true reflection of what is on the ground,” Makanga said.
The last time the bank carried out an assessment on the country’s procurement system was between 2002 and 2003 and the weaknesses identified in that assessment were resolved through the repealed Procurement Act of 2003.
In 2017, Parliament passed Public Procurement and Disposal of Asset Act with an aim of addressing the weaknesses in the 2003 Act.
The current assessment is using the newly adopted Methodology for Assessing Procurement System which lays foundation for a well-governed public procurement system to help meet government policy
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