The Open Contracting Multi-Stakeholders Group has called for transparency and accountability in the award of government contracts.
Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe on Friday, the group commended the government for suspending contracts it recently awarded, but faulted authorities for keeping the public in suspense on the next course of action.
The group’s chairperson Leon Matanda said the country has lost huge sums of money in the last decade due to public procurement management deficits; hence, the new government should do things differently.
He said: “We call upon the public and private sectors, civil society, the donor community and international development agencies to contribute towards enhancement of good governance measures in public procurement in the best interest of improving management of public resources.”
Malawi Economic Justice Network acting executive director Bertha Phiri said Malawi will not develop if public institutions are not transparent, adding that public procurement is mired in secrecy.
She said since more than 50 percent of the national budget goes into procurement, there is need to ensure that the processes are transparent.
Phiri suggested the rolling out of lifestyle audit for public sector workers to ensure that their earnings match their wealth.
On his part, Civil Society Education Coalition executive director Benedicto Kondowe said the no-objection clause used in the procurement processes need to be reviewed to have a specific threshold because it is being abused by the procurement entities.
On his part, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation executive director Michael Kaiyatsa called for the swift implementation of the Access to Information law that will enhance transparency in the procurement processes in the public sector as people will be free to access information.
The government last month suspended contracts government recently awarded to pave the way for an investigative audit.
In a memo dated June 30 2020, Chief Secretary to the Government Zanga-zanga Chikhosi advised all heads of ministries, departments and agencies about the development.