The Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) in Malawi has said undue influence from influential public officials on internal procurement committee (IPCs) in public institutions is worsening corruption in government ministries, departments and parastatals.
In an interview on Thursday, ODPP assistant director (professional development) Edward Jeke said their office is handling several cases where decisions to buy items from some suppliers were made by people outside established IPCs in public institutions.
“Our main challenge revolves around IPCs not understanding that they are the ones who have the mandate to make procurement decisions and not other people outside the IPC. People within IPC allow senior managers, board members and others to make decisions for them on who to give the contracts,” he said.
Jeke, who was speaking on the sidelines of the training for Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) IPC members, said their office has intensified training of IPCs members of public institutions to address the problem.
Almost every year, the Auditor General’s report presented to Parliament on expenditure of public resources in government ministries and departments reveals several cases where millions are lost through poor procurement decisions.
Currently, some CMST warehouses at Kanengo in Lilongwe and other sites are filled with expired drugs and medical supplies which were oversupplied in faulted procurement transactions.
CMST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa said they are training members of their IPC to close knowledge gaps in their procurement team, adding that the trust is also hosting two procurement experts from United Kingdom to enhance their capacity in procurement.