The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has outlined the transformative potential of Tanzania’s newly designed National e-Procurement System (NeST) for the country’s public procurement processes.
NeST is an electronic system designed to facilitate various aspects of procurement, including e-registration, e-tendering, e-contract management, e-catalogue, and e-auction.
Public procurement plays a pivotal role in Tanzania’s economy, contributing significantly to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A substantial portion of the government budget is allocated to public procurement, excluding salaries and national debt.
The legal framework governing public procurement in the country is the Public Procurement Act, Chapter 410. This Act established the PPRA with the primary objective of ensuring fairness, competitiveness, transparency, and value for money in the public procurement system.
Eliakim Maswi, the CEO of PPRA, emphasized the NeST’s potential benefits during a meeting with editors in Dar es Salaam. He highlighted that one of the key advantages of NeST is its capacity to provide essential information for decision-making.
In contrast to the existing Tanzania National e-Procurement system (TANePS), which lacks robust data processing capabilities, NeST is designed to be user-friendly and guide users through all necessary steps without requiring extensive training. It will also be accessible via a mobile application, ensuring accessibility for a broader range of users.
Maswi underscored that NeST would enhance bidder participation and transparency in public procurement, enabling the government to secure goods and services at market prices. Additionally, the system can register and approve bidders based on location-specific criteria to ensure quality service delivery.
One of NeST’s significant advantages is its potential to reduce corruption loopholes. The current system allows bidders to influence decisions made by procurement units, tender boards, and officials. However, NeST will eliminate discretionary decision-making, ensuring that all decisions are based on predefined criteria within the system.
Since the commencement of user training for NeST, a total of 653 procurement institutions, represented by 6,262 participants, have received training to use the new procurement system. Moreover, 1,508 bidders have undergone training at various centers coordinated by PPRA, with the Mkwawa University center in Iringa Region being a current training hub.
Maswi emphasized that TANePS, which was introduced in 2015/16 and owned by the Greek company European Dynamics, will cease operations on September 30th of this year. The contract with European Dynamics will conclude on December 31st, making way for NeST, which is government-owned and was designed and built by local experts, to take center stage in transforming Tanzania’s public procurement landscape.