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29 February 2012 | Angeline Albert
This year, the Swaziland government plans to introduce a public procurement agency to oversee the purchasing carried out by public bodies.
In this national budget speech, finance minister Majozi Sithole said that the Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Agency will be created in the 2012/13 financial year.
As well as overseeing public purchasing, the agency will provide an independent forum to assess suppliers’ complaints. In addition, a code of conduct for public sector procurement officials will also be adopted.
The changes come as a result of the country’s Procurement Act of 2010, which gained assent from His Majesty King Mswati III last year. The act also disqualifies public sector workers and politicians from supplying government with goods and services.
In his budget speech, Sithole said: “Government understands that improving public procurement can generate savings without compromising services to the public. It is also an area prone to corruption. That is why we have a new procurement act. In 2012, the government will apply the changes required.”
The minister emphasised the need for stronger fiscal discipline in government by investing in cost-saving policies, improving procurement and public finance management and fighting corruption.