EXTENSIVE public sector reforms carried out since 1990’s are paying off as some public institutions have improved performance and quality service delivery.
Among the institutions that have been doing well is the Government Procurement Supplies Agency (GPSA), that was established under the Executive Agency Act CAP 245 R.E 2009 and came into effect through Government Notice (GN). No. 235 of 7th December 2007 and its amendments through Government Notice No.133 of 13th, April, 2012.
The agency was established to enhance economy and efficiency in procurement by providing the government and non-government institutions with goods and services (Common Use Items and Services) through proper arrangement of common procurement, storage, distribution and clearing and forwarding.
GPSA is mandated to ensure availability of adequate and quality procurement services to the Government and Non Government institutions as stipulated in Public Procurement Act Cap 410.
According to the GPSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jacob Kibona for the 2014/2015 financial year GPSA saved 3.6bn/- on procurement of 433 vehicles, 40 motorcycles for 88 public institutions in which the government spent over 65.7bn/- for the purchase.
“The government has also saved 382m/-, which would be spent by public institutions in the tendering processes,’’ he said. On the collection of revenue Mr Kibona said that since the establishment of GPSA, earnings had increased from 492.3m/- in 2007/2009 financial year to 7.5bn/- in 2015/2016.
“In the financial year of 2016/2017, GPSA did not receive funds from the government to run its activities, instead it uses its internal sources of fund,’’ he said. He attributed the bulk purchasing as the best system in saving the tax payers money.
He narrates that the saved money would be directed to other public development projects such us improvement of road infrastructures, health and education sector. In a bid to reduce procurement cost, GPSA has been placing order direct from producers, although in some circumstances he says producers might want them(GPSA) to order goods through their authorised agencies.
“When we face such challenges we normally seek for a discount from those agencies,” he says. He also says GPSA has a role of clearing and forwarding government goods in ports and borders and in the last financial year, goods worthier than 60bn/- have been cleared.
He reveals that the cleared goods were equipment for the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB), Tanzania Revenue Authority and of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Between July and September last year, his agency cleared a number of government goods worth at 100.97 billion these including two Bombardier Q400 aircraft bought by the government for ATCL. GPSA as the Government Clearing and Forwarding agent specialises in customs clearing and forwarding operations.
The Agency provides high quality clearing and forwarding services to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and Public Institutions in a cost effective manner for their imports and exports arrangement of government consignments and public officers’ Personal effects.
“It offers clearing and forwarding services on goods imported to Tanzania through Ocean, Air and Land. We are customer focused, customer driven and strive passionately to provide an excellent and professional level of personalised service to our clients” he says.
He says GPSA also stores goods for the government institutions and has warehouse in almost all region in the country. “After the earthquake hit Kagera region last year, our warehouses used to store goods donated for the victims,” Kibona says according to the law, the core function of his agency is to buy, store and distribute common use items and services needed in performing government daily activities.
He elaborates that the above activities is one of the core functions of the agency and it uses more resources of the agency. He said the role is being implemented using two system, first one is by buying equipment, store and sell them and the second one is through a bulk purchasing framework arrangement. The Acting CEO says that the establishment of the agency is a result of improvement of procurement services in the public sectors.
The government started economic reform in early 90s for the purpose of improving public services and ensure that public get services on time, experts say the reforms have been successful.
“Procurement sector like other sectors is very important in the economic growth and social prosperity in any country, it is this sector that assures availability of equipment, installations, and equipment for contractors,” he says.
He notes that the sector is important between the buyer and the supplier and a catalyst of economic growth, and the sector estimated to use 70 to 80 per cent of the country’s budget. Kibona says the government established the agency in order to reduce the procurement cost in the public sector also promote efficiency in the public institutions by enhancing availability of various equipment on time.
“This including the purchasing, storing and hence selling at a competitive price office equipment, fuel and lubricants for government vehicles and machines.”
He also says that a digital system has been installed at its fuel station at Kurasini in Dar es Salaam station which supplies fuel in government vehicles.
The Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji insists all Public Institutions to procure their common use items and services through Government Procurement Services Agency. This is aimed at curbing misuse of government funds.
The Deputy Minister said, GPSA should facilitate the value for money from every purchases made by the public institutions.