ZICTA plans to spend ZMW1million on branded furniture, its Procurement Budget hits ZMW18million for 2018
ZAMBIAs Information Communication Technology - ICT regulator ZICTA whose strategic goals include the promotion of competition in the ICT sector, catalyzing universal access for the Zambian population, consumer protection, ensuring efficient management of scarce resources and enhancing institutional capacity to deliver ICT expectations of the country plans to spend K1million on branded furniture for its offices. This is according to its 2018 board approved procurement budget made available to ZBT. The regulatory agency total approved procurement budget for 2018 is K18 million (about USD1.8 million).
A further review of the approved budget reveals that the institutions highest procurement line is on motor vehicles. ZICTA plans to spend K3.5million to purchase vehicles as the single biggest procurement line. Analysts say that this is an anomaly as an institution is expected to spend more on its core mandate, in this case equipment meant to support its regulatory functions. Yes, motor vehicles are important to support ZICTA’s operations to carry out its regulatory functions but it should not be the biggest spend.
The second highest procurement line is however in line as ZICTA plans to spend K2.5million to upgrade its quality of service monitoring equipment. This equipment if well used can also lead to the regulator oversight function improvement as they will be empowered to monitor the quality of service and fine the network operating not meeting the set minimum standards. However, with this procurement, the country should now be able to receive monthly reports and updates on the results of the monitoring activities on the quality of services at an industry level as well as network level.
ZICTA also obtained board approval to spend a further K2.5million towards the construction of the approval test equipment plant. This plant is expected to be constructed in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone were the agency had bought land and put out a proposal to set up a public private partnership - PPP to ensure future viability and the center remaining technologically up to-date.
The fourth and fifth highest procurement line by value for 2018 for ZICTA has been a total allocation of K1.25million for the maintenance and support of the RSSM system and the K1million allocation to purchase and deliver of branded furniture. ZICTA which regulates the lucrative telecoms market is always under pressure to match up and keep its officers who are expected to provide regulatory oversight at par or even better in terms of conditions of service so as to attract the best and well trained personnel in the market.
ZICTA relocated to the former American Embassy building which is currently housing its head offices. The offices have undergone some renovations and facelifts, perhaps an attempt to keep abreast with its stakeholders and mobile network operators who have put up plush head offices in some of the best office parks in Lusaka.
Another regulator, Bank of Zambia, faces a similar challenge were its officers to provide regulatory oversight on bankers working in the private sector and are well paid, has also established a remuneration structure that makes Bank of Zambia being one of the best employers in terms of conditions of service among its public sector peers.