ESPPRA Capacitates Procuring Entities on Market Price Catalogue

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Eswatini Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (ESPPRA) continues to champion fairness and transparency in public procurement.

On July 10, 2024, the Agency hosted a breakfast meeting at the Sibane Sami Hotel to engage procuring entities on the Market Price Reference Catalogue for Common Use Goods. This initiative follows an earlier engagement with suppliers, marking a significant step towards comprehensive procurement reform in Eswatini.

The primary aim of the engagement was to provide procuring entities with a clear understanding of how to apply the Market Price Reference Catalogue. This tool is intended to act as a standard for pricing, aimed at preventing overpricing and promoting a competitive environment in procurement.

The Ministry of Finance’s Director of Supply Chain, Nkhululeko Dlamini, representing the Acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Vusi Dlamini, emphasized the critical role of the catalogue in enhancing transparency and accountability in procurement processes.

The Director highlighted the importance of the Market Price Reference Catalogue, which was launched in January by the Minister for Finance, Neal Rijkenberg noting that this comprehensive document is a testament to the commitment to establishing fair and consistent pricing across all procurement activities.

The creation of the document involved extensive research, consultation, and collaboration, ensuring that it reflects accurate market prices for over 17,000 Common-Use Goods.

Dlamini acknowledged the efforts of ESEPARC in conducting the survey that informed the catalogue. “This has not been an easy task, and we are grateful for ESEPARC’s dedication. The catalogue is designed to be a tool that aids in making informed purchasing decisions, promoting fairness and transparency,” he added.

The CEO of ESPPRA, Vusi Matsebula, emphasized that procuring entities have a huge role to play in making sure that the catalogue is effectively implemented. He called upon the procuring entities to cooperate with them by adopting and utilizing this new reform in procurement.

Matsebula further stressed that as an entity, they are open to suggestions and pieces of advice from the procuring entities on how the catalogue can be utilized or even adjusted for smooth operations.

Earlier this year, ESPPRA engaged with suppliers of Common-Use Goods to ensure that they understand the importance and benefits of the Market Price Reference Catalogue. The feedback from suppliers was invaluable, highlighting the catalogue’s role in fostering fair competition and reducing the potential for overpricing.

The session also served as a platform for open discussions, allowing procurement officers to share their experiences and challenges.

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