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Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu has issued a Commencement Order through Statutory Instrument No. 26 of 2021 to bring into effect the Public Procurement Act No. 8 of 2020.

The new Act has repealed and replaced the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008.

The Public Procurement Act is a major milestone in addressing gaps and weaknesses in dealing with emerging public procurement related issues.

Among the key issues that the new Act has addressed include enhanced participation of citizens in public procurement, price benchmarking through the publication of quarterly market prices and a requirement to conduct price reasonableness analysis by procuring entities.

And in an effort to ensure that no one is left behind, the Act provides for mandatory preference and reservation schemes for target groups including citizen or local suppliers, small and medium sized enterprises, and enterprises owned by persons with disabilities, youths or women.

The new Act has further provided for offences for persons that contravene the provisions of the Act.

Such offenses include certification of substandard goods or works that are incomplete, non-existent, or whose quality is below the specifications contained in a contract.

The Ministry of Finance is confident that the Act will ensure that Government makes savings on the procurement function, which accounts for over 70 percent of discretionary government expenditure.

In a statement issued by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, the Ministry of Finance has assured that Government remains committed to safeguarding public resources.

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