Tipeeg exempted from tender
In a move that government say will expedite the implementation of the ambitious Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) related projects, Ministries with projects can now go to the Tender Board for exemptions.
Cabinet recently directed that all Ministries with TIPEEG projects will no longer have to go through the open competing bidding system when they do procurement in order to accelerate project implementation.
In her budget speech delivered on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila cited scarcity of engineering capacity in regard to project preparation, and limited implementation and monitoring capacity in government Ministries and agencies as some of the limiting factors which are hindering the smooth implementation of the programme.
TIPEEG allocation for 2011/12 amounted to N$5.8 billion and a total of N$14.7 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). Over the MTEF, TIPEEG is expected to generate 104,000 jobs, a network of strategic infrastructure and improved domestic production capacity.
However, as of January 2012 only 7000 jobs had been created according to information provided by the National Planning Commission with slow execution rates on most projects.
While conceding that the directive to exempt TIPEEG projects from going through the Tender Board might backfire by way of rampant corruption.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said: “It’s risky but there is a board, known as the TIC committee that is advising the Tender Board on the awards and of course they have the responsibility to make sure the evaluation process for the tenders is done correctly.”
The Minister said government has also agreed to delegate some of the projects to regional and local authorities.
“It was agreed in government that, to all extent possible, Ministries would delegate regional and local authorities to implement local projects within their areas in order to reduce the over-concentration of activities at the central government level and thereby reduce delays.
“The more you increase the budget, the more responsibilities that a Ministry has to undertake. Some local authorities like City of Windhoek and Walvis Bay may have better capacity than central government,” the Minister said.
Government has also made provisions in the 2012/13 budget for the Ministry of Works and Transport to acquire engineers, architects and quantity surveyors so that they are better equipped to cope with the engineering services that are needed to expedite the implementation of capital projects.
The 2011/12 budget marked the first roll-out of the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth as a fast-track dispensation for job-creation and stimulus for high economic growth in the long term.