By Cedrick Ngalande
On March 2nd 2021, the Public Service Systems Review Taskforce invited the general public to submit views, proposals and comments on the review of government allowances, procurement and employment contracts. I encourage all citizens, especially civil servants, to participate fully in this review process.
Below is my contribution to the taskforce:
TO: The Public Service Systems Review Taskforce, email@example.com
SUBMISSION CATEGORY: System of Procurement
PROBLEM: A significant fraction of corruption comes in the form of contracts and tender awards. Oftentimes, civil servants and government officials indirectly form companies through third parties. These companies then bid for tenders in the officials’ departments where a favorable decision is guaranteed. In some cases, perfectly legitimate private companies bribe department officials to influence a tender decision in their favor. As such a lot of contracts are awarded to bidders with no real expertise and merit, resulting in substandard service delivery.
Increase transparency of the tender bidding process by putting the entire process online. All bids or applications should be recorded online for everybody to see. The public should be able to go to a website to download and read all the applications submitted, by individual companies, to a particular tender announcement. And when the winner is selected, the department/government should upload a comprehensive explanation as to why the winner deserved to be chosen over the other applications; and also show how all the received bids/applications were ranked by the reviewers, i.e., from the best (the winner) to the least.
This transparency will discourage corruption in the tender awarding process.
Next Sunday I will write about primary school teachers; how the country has been taking advantage of them for many years, and why the weak Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) should be replaced. (Do NOT miss that!)
Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org