The Board’s observations come as ministries come under increasing pressure to tighten project delivery and cost management, in the age of declining national budget revenues. A Project Management Office is being set up in the Office of the President to govern across all line ministries.
PPADB executive chairperson, Bridget John said two audits of mega projects conducted last year could not be concluded due to the unavailability of end of activity reports.
The audits, conducted by PPADB in partnership with Competition Authority (CA) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), included the Ramotswa Road Maintenance project and the Procurement of Laboratory and Medical equipment under the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The PPADB, CA, DCEC and Auditor General also conducted joint audits on the poverty eradication programme, Botswana International University of Science & Technology procurement of supplies, University of Botswana procurement of radiology equipment for the academic hospital, Thune Dam project as well as the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ facilities management project.
John said the Board, in implementing its 2013-2018 strategy ending in March, had realised that there is widespread failure by Procuring Entities (PE) to submit the reports.
reports by PEs, which hampers performance monitoring of contractors,” she told a media briefing this week. She said the joint audits had revealed an over-reliance amongst procuring entities on less competitive methods of procurement, poor procurement planning and adherence to budgetary procedures, as well as poor record-keeping.
“Issues arising from joint audits included lack of capacity for supervision and monitoring of projects as well as a seemingly high rate of project failure in the poverty eradication programme. However, specific recommendations have been submitted for improvements,” she said.
Meanwhile, the PPADB has de-listed one contractor and suspended two others, as part of efforts to clean up the public procurement arena. Another company has been given a warning. The disciplinary measures are in line with the PPADB code of conduct designed to weed out errant contractors from public procurement.
The suspended companies breached the PPADB’s code of conduct and terms of contracts, while the de-listed company reported submitted fabricated information.
According to John, the affected companies and shareholders cannot form new companies to trade with government during the suspension period, as PPADB will not register such companies.
The PPADB has 25,923 contractors registered in different categories and eligible to participate in government tenders.