Members of the National Tender Board (NTB) met President Danny Faure at State House yesterday morning for a meeting in which they discussed the operations of the entity as well as the challenges faced by the organisation.
Chairperson of the NTB, Mina Crea, stated that among the challenges discussed with President Faure are mainly competition within tenders and lack of procurement planning which can lead to problems including variances or tenders and projects that have to be cancelled or retendered at a later date.
“All procurement entities should have a procurement plan. Some procuring entities do have plans, but they may not necessarily be working according to such plans while others do not have plans at all,” she said.
According to Mrs Crea, there are instances when procuring entities, which includes ministries and other departments, approach the board and stating that a project is urgent which requires the board to initiate a bidding process as the timeframe is limited.
“Plans allow for monitoring of projects from the beginning, from the inception of the project, the bill of quantity, advertisements, the tender process and even project monitoring once the contract has been awarded,” Mrs Crea said.
Mrs Crea added that President Faure made some suggestions as to how the entity can address their current challenges.
“The President suggested we address the issues of lack of procurement planning at the chief executive officers’ forum where we can detail the issue to CEOs in the hope that such information and practices trickle down relevant organisations,” she stated.
The National Tender Board is an organisation which oversees the procurement of goods and services in the public sector. It has a threefold mandate which includes ensuring that the procurement process is based on openness, fairness and competition as stipulated by law. Moreover, the entity receives bids and tenders and reviews evaluation reports prepared by procurement entities and which are submitted to the procurement committees. The board can then approve, reject or defer the report while they seek for more information before it is approved.
“The Procurement Oversight Unit (POU) handles policies and liaises with procurement entities while the board does not liaise directly with organisations. On our side we are happy with the operations of the Tender Board but we hope that entities start planning and submit their procurement plans to the oversight unit on time to eliminate and address our biggest challenges,” she concluded.