NAME-dropping for economic gain in the public sector is equivalent to extortion, and should therefore be legislated as corruption.
Over the years, we have seen incidences of name-dropping, with tenderpreneurs seeking economic advantages, by bypassing the standard norms of doing business, in order to corrupt governance.
This has resulted in ballooning and bankrupting projects, which has seen the treasury coffers being emptied into waiting pockets.
What can be agreed is that tenderpreneurship and name-dropping have been doing massive damage to the economy, because there has not been any substantive value-addition, apart from raising the cost of doing business and creating an inefficient bureaucratic system, in which doors are continually closed to the hungry majority.
Tenderpreneurship has never resulted in positive employment creation or improving social welfare. What it has certainly created, without doubt, is extracting billions for individual luxuries, such as cars, holiday homes, expensive lifestyles and promiscuity.
In essence, tackling collusion and corruption, facilitated by name-dropping, are not mutually exclusive goals, and hence the need to accommodate both in our anti-corruption legislation, in order to better protect public procurement processes.
Our tender processes surely still have certain loopholes, as big as those that characterised the old system, which will lead the country to enrich a few, at the cost of the many.
Apart from name-dropping, the system is still flawed with non-compliance of public procurement policies and regulations, inadequate monitoring and evaluation and unethical behaviour, among other critical concerns.
With taxpayers in mind, many, including this publication, have raised concerns about the porous system in which the tendering system has constantly witnessed irregularities, with government falling prey to tenderpreneurs who continue to damage the reputation of commercial parastatals, in particular.
What we understand, is that public procurement is guided by a number of related policies and regulations, but the reality on the ground is that compliance with these policies and regulations has become a major problem, which is further exacerbated by name-dropping.
Accountability constitutes a central pillar to public procurement, and without transparent and accountable systems that also stamp out name-dropping, the vast resources that are channelled run the risk of being entangled with increased corruption, with the trickledown benefits never reaching the masses.
Government is knowledgeable of the fact that over the past few years, the impact of corruption has led to the promulgation of special legislation and the beefing up procurement laws, which created the Public Procurement Bill.
Needed now is an urgent rethink about innovative and punitive ways, in which we can curb name-dropping and other administrative malpractices within government, despite the new legislation having been enacted.
To fight the scourge of maladministration, the mismanagement of finances, as well as fraud and corruption, government needs to strengthen and review existing internal control mechanisms, in order to detect deficiencies, while bearing in mind that tendering processes are central to national development.
The goods and services procured by national government represent a large amount of public money, and it is very important that government puts in place measures to manage how tenders are acquired, while stamping out those that use the names of others to gain unethical advantages.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015