Catholic University Students Challenged on Procurement Ethics

The Director General for the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA), Dr. Edington Chilapondwa, has urged all procurement officers to work under ethical standards as a way of ensuring professionalism.

Speaking during a public lecture conducted at the Catholic University of Malawi on Thursday, May 30, under the title Understanding Public Procurement, Dr. Chilapondwa called for a mindset change among procurement officers on how they conduct their duties.

“When you are entrusted to buy panado, please ensure you don’t buy expired panado; otherwise, you are not acting in the public interest. You cannot buy tonnes and tonnes of panado with an expiration date two months from now,” said Chilapondwa.

He then advised procurement officers in the country to always side with the public when discharging their duties to avoid wasting money meant for the public. 

“You think that is government money, but when you go to the supermarket, you are charged 16 percent VAT [value added tax] that goes to MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority], and MRA puts the money into the government purse; later, that money is allocated to departments,” explained Chilapondwa.

The Director General also urged the procurement offices to detach themselves from practices of awarding contracts to people they know, saying such practices compromise the process of fair competition.

Chilapondwa further advised suppliers of different goods not to indulge in corruption for them to be awarded contracts, saying the practice has consequences for their businesses after being penalised.

During the public lecture, the PPDA Director General shared more on the public procurement processes and the mandate of the PPDA.

The Manager for the Directorate of Research and Publication, Sainala Kalebe, commended the PPDA for the public lecture, saying understanding public procurement helps build trust with the public. 

Established under Section 5 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of 2017, PPDA is mandated to monitor, regulate, and oversee all public procurement and disposal of assets in Malawi.

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