Government continues to derail Procurement Act

JCC president Fazir Khan.  -
JCC president Fazir Khan. -

THE EDITOR: After the charade played out at the joint select committee’s review of the status of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act on November 18, it is clear to the Joint Council for the Construction Industry (JCC) that government’s ongoing strategy to completely derail the operationalisation of the act is working.

During the two-hour-plus grilling of the regulator, mostly on overstated "concerns" raised by the Judiciary, we were prepped for another soapbox affair when the Attorney General comes before the JSC, for which no date was mentioned, by the chairman of the JSC.

We can only expect the status quo to continue in 2023, to see this nation squander another couple billion dollars of public money through inefficient and corrupt procurement practices, while the opportunity to shift the paradigm of shiftiness and graft is seven years stale and rapidly fading.

The tax-paying public needs to understand that the regulator’s five-year term comes to an end on January 11. The act was amended by this government in 2017 to change the term of the regulator from seven to five years.

The act provides for a second term, if the government approves. We may therefore see operationalisation of the act without the fire in the belly and the spirited independence displayed by the current performance-driven regulator.

This will certainly be a tragedy. Civil-society groups need to rally for a second term for the current regulator to continue his and his team’s good work.

FAZIR KHAN

JCC president

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"Government continues to derail Procurement Act"

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