Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has asked procurement officers to deal with corruption in government.
Speaking when he launched the first cohort of procurement in-service training at Staff Development Institute in Blantyre yesterday, Mussa said the question the officials need to ask themselves is why corruption usually takes place in the public sector and not in the private sector when procurement also happens there.
“You are aware that government is losing in excess of 30 percent of its national budget to corruption and that is because the majority of our procurement officers are easily enticed into corruption,” he said.
Mussa also called upon the 30 practitioners undergoing the four-week training to utilise the skills they will acquire.
“The fruits of this training will only be seen when you get back to your work stations. The people of Malawi are tired of what they see out there in terms of procurement-related problems.
“For example, there are a lot of poor structures resulting from poor contract management; we also see a lot of unfinished projects where contractors have disappeared.
“We have come across several cases of delivery of inferior quality items or no deliveries at all yet payment was made. This simply shows how much rot there is out there. This training should, therefore, help clean up the mess,” he added.
In his remarks, director of public procurement Paul Taulo described the training as crucial, saying the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) is trying to improve efficiency of submissions that come from procurement entities and all government agencies to minimise time taken.
The in-service training, expected to close gaps between what procurement practitioners learnt as part of their studies and the actual work on the ground, is being conducted with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).