Public Procurement AmendmentBill 2021 passed by National Assembly |04 August 2021
Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade Naadir Hassan returned to the National Assembly during the afternoon yesterday to present the Public Procurement Amendment Bill, which proposes modifications to sections 14 and 99 of the Public Procurement Act.
As announced by the minister during the 2021 budget address, a revision of laws that govern procurement in the public service is necessary, to modernise the law, and bring about more efficiency, good governance and transparency within the process.
Presenting the amendments, Minister Hassan detailed that section 14 of the Public Procurement Act obliges that the National Tender Board comprises five persons, a provision which limits the government from appointing to boards persons who are more competent based on their experiences and qualifications.
The amendments include provision for a chairperson of the board to be appointed, with six other members, three of whom are from the private sector. These members are to be appointed based on their integrity, qualifications, and experience in public administration, economics, law, finance, engineering or other technical sectors.
Other proposed amendments are to section 99, which under the present law provides for a four-member review board to listen to appeals. However, with the amendments, the review panel will comprise a chairperson, and four additional members, two from the private sector, nominated based on the same criteria as for the National Tender Board.
There was general consensus that a drastic change is necessitated within the process, although some members also conveyed to the minister their concerns with regards to the appointment process.
The Bill was approved by 22 votes in favour. Eight members abstained from the vote.