Tenders to be advertised on e-portal

Cape Town – The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer says all tenders advertised by government will soon only be advertised in government’s eTender portal.

Chief Procurement Officer Kenneth Brown says in addition to the Central Supplier Database, innovative tendering processes and reforms that are being introduced will reduce the administrative baggage and save government billions of rands.

Brown said this when he briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday.

“[Effective] 1st of April, every department must advertise on the eTender portal. They must no longer advertise on newspapers. That applies to national and provincial governments and their entities. From the 1st of July, it will be for municipalities,” he said.

This comes after President Jacob Zuma announced during his response to the debate on his State of the Nation Address that from April going forward, government would pull tender advertising from newspapers and instead advertise to suppliers in the eTender portal.

Brown said this exercise is expected to save government about R1 billion a year. He said his office held consultations with several media houses on the changes.

“We met with the publishing houses because they were saying this is going to have an adverse effect on their business and we said we understand but [they] need to accept that innovation is coming and [they] need to adjust [their] business models accordingly,” he said.

Any person or company wishing to do business with the State now needs to register on the Central Supplier Database. He said an exciting prospect was that his office was looking at developing a new app that will digitise the tendering process and reduce heaps of paper work.

“What is going to be important in the eTender portal is we are thinking of developing an app where if a company is registered on the Central Supplier Database and a tender gets advertised on the eTender portal, we are going to send a notification to the company so that the company can say ‘here is a tender that is in line with my business’ and they can apply,” Brown said.

He said with adverts being pulled from newspapers, government must make it easy for business to access information.

Brown said the business sector was excited about this prospect.

State moots portal for government vacancy ads

The Chief Procurement Officer said his office was looking at creating a similar portal for government job adverts.

He said government currently spends R1.5 billion a year on job adverts.

“What we are also thinking about is to use a similar portal for job ads. We are spending about R1.5 billion a year on job ads for the State and if we were to do this, we would save R1.5 billion a year.”

Brown said a new government on-line shopping tool called gCommerce is also being introduced to make it easier for government officials to do procurement.

Through this portal, the Chief Procurement Officer said, an accurate identification of commodities would enable state buyers to have quicker turnaround times when buying.

Brown said, meanwhile, that a call centre has been set up to deal with departments who fail to pay invoices within 30 days.

He said the call centre would allow suppliers an opportunity to contact his office to complain about unpaid invoices and that upon taking over the query, his office would aim to resolve the problem within 10 days.

- SAnews.gov.za