CHRR Advocates For Open Contracting in Public Procurement
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation CHRR says there is a growing need for stakeholders to raise awareness on procurement procedures by public procurement entities if suspicion of corrupt practices in public procurement is to be curtailed.
This is according to CHRR’s Programme Officer Charles Baduya who was speaking Tuesday in Salima during an interface, meeting with different stakeholders, saying members of the public are mostly denied access to information regarding bids and contracts favoring a few...
"We observed through a survey that was conducted between 2018 to 2019 that members of the public are still failing to find access to information in regard to procurement contracts by public procuring entities which raises suspicion of corruption," Baduya said.
He says now with Access to Information law in place, it is imperative for authorities to start operating in a transparent manner and giving equal opportunities to all on bidding and awarding of contracts.
A representative of the business community in Salima Sakina Salimu Chingomanje says most citizens are not aware of the procurement processes in councils which in return denies them access to compete for contracts.
"There is a huge information gap and we are worried, for example recently, the council hired people to supply masks in the free masks distribution initiative most of us were not aware we just heard that contracts have been given to people," said Chingomanje.
Meanwhile, Director of Administration for Salima District Council Shupikai Nyirenda believes public awareness on public procurement procedures is critical.
"This is a good intervention by CHRR, it will also help us on our part to clear out misconception and negative attitudes towards the council, there is indeed a need for people to understand the procurement processes," she said.
The project by CHRR with support from William and Flora Hewlett through Africa Freedom of Information Centre AFIC will be implemented in Lilongwe and Salima to run for three years aimed at empowering citizens to question authorities on contracts and procurement.