Highlights of the Public Procurement Act

9 18 2015

The Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008 was enacted by the Parliament of Zambia and became operational on 8 December, 2008.

International Agreements

Before entering into any international agreement relating to procurement, a procuring entity is required to obtain approval of the Authority and the advice of the Attorney General. Section 4.

Regulatory and Oversight Functions Strengthened

Under the Act, the ZPPA shall not participate in the procurement of goods, works or services but will play the role of a regulatory body in public procurement. Section 6(1) and (2).

Participation of the ZPPA in the procurement process shall be limited to the interim period only. Second Schedule, Section 1.

Members of the Procurement Committee

Section 16(3) provides for appointment of not more than two outside members to the Procurement Committee who shall not be public officers or employees of any parastatal body.

Section 16 (4) also provides that members of the Procurement Committee shall be appointed with regard to their:

  1. Technical and professional competence;
  2. Procurement skills and knowledge required for the discharge of the functions of the Procurement Committee; and
  3. Proven integrity and sound decision making abilities.

Section 16 (5) further provides that a Controlling Officer or Chief Executive Officer shall, in selecting the members of a Procurement Committee, seek to establish a balance of skills and experience among the members to ensure that the Procurement Committee:

  1. has an appropriate level of seniority and experience in decision making;
  2. includes knowledge and experience in public procurement and other relevant professional disciplines; and,
  3. includes persons with knowledge and experience of the procuring entity’s operations.

Establishment of Sub-Procurement Committees

A Procurement Committee may establish a Sub-Committee with delegated level of authority to provide procurement authorization for sub division of the procuring entity, where the sub division’s procurement would be more effectively managed by a Sub-Committee. Section 19.

Provision of New Procurement Methods

The Act has provided for four new procurement methods namely Force Account, Purchases from other Procuring Entities, Procurement of Infrastructure for Private Financing and Award of Concessions and Community Participation. Sections 33, 34, 35 and 36

Procurement Planning

A procuring entity is required to annually plan its procurement in a rational manner and submit such plans to the ZPPA. Section 42.

Record Keeping

A Procuring Entity is required to maintain records of all procurement proceedings for a period of seven years. Section 38.

Publication of Best Evaluated Bidder

A procuring entity shall, within seven days of awarding the contract, prepare a notice indicating the best evaluated bidder and the value of the proposed contract, and send the notice to all bidders who submitted bids. No award shall be made within ten days from date of notification. Section 53.

Information to Unsuccessful Bidders

A procuring entity shall, after the commencement of a contract with the successful bidders, inform all other bidders that their bids have not been successful and shall give reasons for the decision. Section 56.

Contract Manager

A procuring entity shall appoint a contract manager for every contract awarded. Section 57.

Amendment of a Contract

Amendments to a contract shall require the prior authorization of the appropriate approvals authority and the Attorney General. Section 58.

Preference and Reservation

A margin of preference may be granted for bids by a target group or goods provided from Zambia or a particular region. Certain procurements may be reserved for a target group. Target group include enterprises owned by women, citizen or local bidders, and small-sized enterprises. Section 63.

Suspension of Bidders, Grounds for Suspension and Permanent Barring of Bidders or Suppliers.

The Act provides for suspension and permanent bar of bidders from participating in public procurements. The grounds for such suspension and barring of bidders/suppliers are also provided. Sections 65, 66 and 67.

Right of Appeal for an Aggrieved Party

A bidder or supplier who is aggrieved with a decision made by a procuring entity may appeal against the decision to the ZPPA. Section 70.