Academic journal article Advances in Management

Do Tanzanian Procuring Entities Comply with Tender Advertisement and Disclosure? A Survey

Academic journal article Advances in Management

Do Tanzanian Procuring Entities Comply with Tender Advertisement and Disclosure? A Survey

Article excerpt

Introduction

Advertising procurement opportunities is the first stage in the formal tender process, therefore, a foundation stone of public procurement16. This is because tender advertising facilitates appropriate competition, enhances transparency, develops markets and helps in the battle against corruption2,12,15. As a matter of fact, advertising in tendering should be understood properly because it can result in a disappointing level of competition or disturbing procurement process that may need refreshing. In line with this recognition, OECD14 insists that, tender advertising is one of the techniques of enhancing transparency in public procurement. That is why numerous studies have indicated a correlation between tender advertising and transparency17.

In enhancing importance of transparency throughout procurement process, Lynch7 stresses the need of availing information to all stakeholders. In Tanzanian context, insufficient advertising is one of the fifty (50) red flags test criteria of corruption developed by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA). This shows that tender advertising or invitation to tender (as commonly used in the solicitation documents) is of great concern in public procurement.

Tender advert (or tender notice) is placed in the first section of any bidding documents. In actual sense, bidding document is a formal booklet prepared by a purchaser set procurement and its requirements. Therefore, purchaser prepares tender notice as part of bidding documents. Later on, the same will be advertised to the general public as a specific procurement notice. It should be understood that the complete bidding documents are not advertised to the public. It is only tender invitation notice that is floated using the media of a wide circulation.

From a conceptual point of view, tender invitation notice aimed at enabling potential bidders to decide whether to participate or not. With respect to this, several authors have argued that inadequate preparation of bidding documents (including tender invitation notice) can increase costs, impedes timely delivery and limits competition1,3,9,18. Therefore, preparation and disclosure of tender invitation notice is a pre-condition in public procurement. Thus, procuring entities should not undermine this important activity.

In Tanzania, procuring entities are required by the law to advertise tenders using the wide circulated media. In case, international competitive tendering method is used, the tender notice will be posted to the journal and tender portal of the authority, procuring entity website and /or notice board and at least one local newspaper and one international newspaper20. In all cases, the entity will incur the cost of advertising. By implication, in computing administrative costs associated with procurement Eadie, Rodgers, McKeown and Smyth4 and Molander10 included advertising cost as one of the component.

In this respect, section 68 of Public Procurement Act (URT, 2011) requires procuring entities to prepare a tender notice inviting tenderers to submit priced offers for the supply of goods, provision of non-consultancy services or for undertaking the works required. Likewise, regulation 182 of public procurement regulations indicates twelve (12) items to be included in the invitation to tender20. The twelve items mentioned in the referred regulation are listed hereunder:

1. The name and address of a purchaser (procuring entity);

2. The nature, quantity and place of delivery of the goods/services/works to be supplied or provided;

3. The desired time for the supply or provision of the goods/services/works;

4. A declaration that tenderers may participate in the procurement proceedings regardless of nationality or declaration that participation is limited on the basis of nationality;

5. The means or conditions of obtaining the tender documents and the place from which they may be obtained;

6. …

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