The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has moved to dismiss fears that the new Procurement Act which came into effect earlier this year makes procurement in the public sector difficult.

The new Procurement of Public Goods and Disposal of Public Assets Act which was enacted by Parliament last year and came into effect on 1 January this year is aimed at ensuring accountability in the procurement and disposal of public assets in the public sector.

However, procuring entities have complained that rather than making the procurement easy, the new act stifles it by prolonging procurement processes.

The Chief Executive Officer of the PRAZ, Mr Nyasha Chizu said the act is fit for purpose and is achieving its intended goals.

“The new act resonates well with the ease of doing business. It ensures that parastatals, local authorities and government departments are responsible and accountable for their decisions hence it improves government operations,” he said.

Mr Chizu added that because heads of government departments will be accountable for their procurement decisions, many are becoming cautious in their approach.

Therefore, the organisation is also conducting training workshops with procurement officers from the public sector for better interpretation.

“We are working round the clock to make sure that the new Procurement Act is understood by holding workshops. In the end it is these organisations and government which will benefit,” he said.

PRAZ replaced the State Procurement Board (SPB) and has a new responsibility to supervise procuring entities in order to increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs from inefficient procurement procedures.