The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) with support from the European Union Democratic Governance Programme (EU-DGP), has organized a four day orientation training for its Commissioners, management and senior staff at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre.
The training, which started Wednesday, August 31, 2016 will focus on imparting knowledge and understanding of the Public Procurement Act of 2003.
Speaking during the opening, Chairperson of the Finance and Administration Committee, Commissioner Ms Linda Kunje said the need for efficient, transparent, cost effective public procurement at the Commission cannot be over-emphasized, thus this training was very important.
“The proportion of procurement budget to the total budget of any election is very substantial. In actual fact, public procurement expenditure at the Commission, like any other Electoral Commission accounts for over 70 percent of total of an election budget. These include goods, work, services and advisory services among other things," he said.
She added that procurement has a major role to play in the economic and social development of our country through availability of cost effective and high quality goods and services. This is why in our strategic plan for 2013-2017 the Commission incorporated an element of conducting cost effective elections.
Commissioner Kunje urged the participants to pay attention and take procurement procedures seriously. Adding that, it is the duty of all departments of the Commission to improve the procurement performance and practice.
"You must ensure that members of your department perform procurement activities as per requirements of Public Procurement Act and its regulations, and as well as the procedure laid down by the procurement department.
"Issues of none adherence to procurement procedures are a common problem in most organizations. Apparently this is caused by inadequate supervision and monitoring. However one wonders what the procurement department is doing by allowing such malpractices to happen which is against our efforts on adhering to the cost effectiveness running of affairs. This cannot be tolerated."
Commissioner Linda Kunje ended her opening remarks by thanking the Democratic Governance Programme for the funding that enabled the conduct of the training course.