Friday, October 18, 2019
   
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The Government has warned dishonest procurement officers who collude with suppliers and service providers to defraud the government by dubiously increasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) in public procurement transactions.

The warning was issued recently in Dodoma by the Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr. Ashatu Kijaji, at the opening of the 9th Procurement and Suppliers Professionals and Technicians Board (PSPTB) annual conference.

Dr. Kijaji told the conference, which brought together procurement and supplies officers from various institutions in the country to discuss procurement and supplies that the Government was aware of a syndicate that involves procurement officers and suppliers who deceptively increase VAT to 24 from 18 percent when they sign procurement agreements.

 “The Ministry of Finance and Planning has learnt about dishonest procurement officers who collude with services providers and overcharge the government by 6 percent in the transactions,” she said adding that the government was investigating the matter to indentify dishonest individuals behind the criminal activity.

The minister added that stern measures would be taken against the culprits

“I direct [PSPTB] to take stern measures against procurement and supplies officers implicated in the abuse of public procurement law, including deleting them from the register of procurement and supplies practitioners,” she said.

The deputy minister went on to implore procurement and supplies officers to adhere to professionalism and ethical standards and to disclose names of individuals who tarnish the profession by practicing as procurement cadres without requisite qualifications. 

She also decried persistent malpractices revealed in the recent annual performance evaluation report published by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, whereby procurement processes in 13 out of 60 institutions as well as 98 out of 3,763 projects which were investigated were tainted by wide spread corruption and irregularities.

The annual conference brought together about 687 procurement and supplies professionals who deliberated on various issues pertinent to the development of the procurement and supplies profession.

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