Tender rules should create accountability

In Summary

• All tenders and their winners should be published on government websites

• Now the PPRA has instructed all companies should include their beneficial ownership when submitting tenders.

Court gavel
Court gavel
Image: FILE

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority has instructed the accounting officers of all ministries and parastatals to make public the beneficial owners behind all successful tenders.

By law, all tender information should appear on official websites including contract detail, tenders and prices, and winners. This does not always happen.

Now the government wants the names of those behind every tender to be made public as well. A Beneficial Owner form now has to be attached to every tender.

These regulations have been in place for some years but have been haphazardly followed. Now there will be a stricter regime.

Some commentators have questioned the commitment of government to the anti-corruption struggle but this would appear to be a big step forward.

Many tenders are won by shadowy companies with little experience. Everyone knows that someone is behind those companies but people did not know who. Now, in theory, all that will change if the beneficial owner of every tender is made publicly available on government websites.

The best form of accountability is an empowered people. If tenders and awards can easily be found and analysed online, then dodgy deals can soon be exposed.

Quote of the day: "In society, liberty for one may mean the suppression of liberty for others."

Gunnar Myrdal
The Swedish economist was born on December 6, 1898

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