Procurement Regulatory Authority holding $5m bidders’ funds
THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) is holding $5 million bid bond in trust obtained as bidding fee auctions from firms that participated in tenders by State entities.
PRAZ chief executive officer Mr Nyasha Chizu told Sunday News Business that the $5 million was accumulated over three years as procuring entities take time to apply for the release of bid bonds to unsuccessful bidders.
“There have been numerous complaints from bidders on the delayed release of the bid bonds for tenders that would have been concluded. It is, however, impossible for PRAZ to release the bonds at the request by the bidders. The procuring entity is required to confirm that they have no obligations with the bidders for PRAZ to release the bond since there are situations that ignite forfeiture of the bid bond,” he said.
A bid bond, which is security deposited by a bidder, guarantees the maintenance of the terms and conditions contained in the offer in-line with terms of Section 44 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (Cap 22:23). It (bid bond) is aimed at reducing irresponsible bids and to encourage bidders to fulfil the conditions of their bids when the bid has been accepted.
“Most bidders prefer the refundable cash deposit to the authority since it is easy to establish. The procuring entity is therefore required in terms of Section 26 (7) of the regulations, to release bid bonds promptly to unsuccessful bidders upon the conclusion of a procurement contracts,” said Mr Chizu.
He also said bidders have a constitutional right to be informed about the outcome of the tenders they would have participated in.
“PRAZ may only know of the position with regard to bid bonds from the communication from the procuring entities after the due process. This is why the Authority is calling on all bidders to seek results of all tenders including request for quotations as it is their constitutional right to be informed of the outcome of all tenders that they participate in, such results ignite further communication with respect to the position of bid bonds,” said Mr Chizu.
The Authority is working on establishing a servicebased centre aimed at assisting bidders to exercise rights as well as improving performances of public authorities.
“We are planning on establishing a call centre to facilitate or accommodate suppliers that shy aware from retribution. We are aware that bidders are afraid to exercise their rights and we encourage them not to shy away since it does not only disadvantage them as suppliers but instead, promotes inefficiency in the public sector. We are also planning specific sector conferences where parties from both the public and private sector shall participate in an effort to improve the performance of the public procurement, a key policy level for effective public service delivery,” Mr Chizu.
He further stated that the Authority was also in the process of enhancing its regulations to complement the Government’s vision on national development.
“The Authority is working on strengthening compliance, monitoring and evaluation of public procurement processes. We are in the process of developing compliance, monitoring and evaluation regulations to enhance the teeth for the regulator. Contract management is one area that we shall concentrate on. Our monitoring and evaluation division shall review the performance of all public contracts to ensure that projects are delivered within the stipulated time frames in order to achieve the vision of President Mnangagwa of an upper middle income economy by 2030,” said Mr Chizu.
Mr Nyasha Chizu