Cash-strapped govt overcharged by up to 1 000 per cent – SPPRA study
At the height of the country’s ailing economy, companies supplying government goods are making a killing as a study by Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) has revealed that they overcharge by up to 1 000 per cent.
The cash-strapped government is said to be losing millions of Emalangeni due to lack of proper public procurement control measures, which makes it easy for companies to sell goods and services to government at inflated prices. This has been revealed by a study that was conducted by SPPRA that has since been submitted to t he minist r y of f i nance. Government is expected to save a lot if the recommendations of the study are followed to the letter.
In an interview with this publicat i on, S PPRA CEO Madoda Mngomezulu confirmed the study and its findings which revealed that some goods were overcharged by companies supplying them to government. Mngomezulu did not like to delve much into details of the report as he said more would be shared on a future date once the report has been launched. He, however, revealed that it has already been submitted to the ministry of finance. “No, we are not disseminating the report yet; you will get it once we have launched it. I think it will be soon. The report is still with the ministry of finance and there are allegations that government is overcharged in some items,” he said.
The CEO stated that the study was a price reference project for common use items. Information gathered suggests that government is overcharged on stores items and construction.
“Some of the overcharged goods are the common use items that are used by everyone such as computers, stationery, printing and stores. Another area where government is overcharged is in construction things. The challenge is that among the people who conduct the evaluation (the tender board) there is no one with the expertise on construction, hence the suppliers charge government exorbitant prices and they are approved,” said a source who preferred anonymity.