CPBN awards tenders worth N$6,4 billion

The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) awarded contracts to the value of N$6,4 billion in the 2023-2024 financial year.

CPBN’manager of stakeholders engagement, Johanna Kambala told Observer Money that the board continues to empower Namibians in the award of procurement contracts.

Observer Money (OM): How many procurement contracts did CPBN award in 2023?

Johanna Kambala (JK): CPBN: In total, the Central Procurement Board of Namibia awarded forty-five (45) procurement contracts during the financial year 2023-2024 to the value of N$6,4 billion. Thirty-nine (39) of these awards to the value of N$5,5 billion were awarded to 100% Namibian owned companies, representing 87% of the total awards. Foreign entities were awarded three procurement contracts, while Namibians in joint ventures with foreign entities were also awarded three contracts respectively, representing 3% each of the total awards. It is worth noting that the 87% awarded to Namibian entities is above the key performance Indicator of 80% as identified in CPBN’s Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP).

OM: Explain to us what are the aims of the five-year strategic plan?

JK: The CPBN’s Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP) is for the period 2023/24-2027-28 and was launched on 2 August 2023 by Hon. Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise.

Aligned to the principles and aspirational objectives of National Development goals including Vision2030, Harambee Prosperity Plan II and the 5th National Development Plan (NDP5), the ISBN aims to achieve organisational excellence through six identified strategic objectives namely stakeholder satisfaction, improve financial management, improve good governance, improve public procurement service delivery within the mandate, inculcate performance driven culture and enable CPBN through appropriate infrastructure.

Among others, the strategic plan strives to ensure that CPBN achieves 90% stakeholders’ satisfaction by 20025-26, ensure that 100% of bids are finalised within 120 days procurement cycle, empower Namibians by ensuring that 80% of annual bids are awarded to Namibians and ensure that 100% of procurement contracts awarded are executed on time and within budget by 2027/28.

OM: There are some who say CPBN does not do enough to empower Namibians especially in the construction industry, what is your comment on this?

JK: Empowerment of Namibians is one of the objectives of the PPA (as amended), and as stipulated under section 2 (b): The Objectives of this Act, are: “to promote, facilitate and strengthen measures to implement the empowerment and industrialisation policies of the government”.

The CPBN has been in compliance to this section by ensuring that employees (unskilled, semi-skilled and in most instances skilled) working on all awarded contracts are Namibian citizens.

It is evident that CPBN continues to empower Namibians in the award of procurement contracts. For the period under review, CPBN awarded fifteen (15) works contracts (construction related projects), of which twelve (12) of the contracts were awarded to 100% Namibian owned companies, while the remaining three contracts were awarded to Namibian companies in joint venture with foreign entities as partnership or joint ventures in which Namibian citizens owns 51% equity.

OM: It was thought that the establishment of the CPBN would reduce disputes when tenders are awarded, why are we still witnessing the awarding of tenders being disputed, even challenged in court sometimes?

JK: The Public Procurement Act, 15 of 2015 as amended, makes provision in terms of Section 55 of the Act for aggrieved bidders to apply for reconsideration if they are not satisfied with the decision made by the Board. However, the bidder must first exhaust all remedies (reconsideration process) as provided for in the PPA before applying for review at the review panel or the High Court as the last resort.

With this legal provision, there is nothing sinister with bidder’s approaching the review panel and the High Court. However, it is worth noting that since inception, CPBN was not taken to the Review Panel or High Court for unethical conduct but rather the majority of the appeals at both the Review Panel and the High Court were related to technicalities and bidders misunderstanding or misinterpreting the criteria and requirements in the bidding documents wrongly.

OM: What are some of the large procurement contracts that are expected to be awarded this year?

JK: The mandate of CPBN is to procure on behalf of public entities for projects above their threshold, thus depending on submissions made to the board by the public entities for facilitation. Unfortunately, CPBN is not in the position to divulge any information, however, all approved procurement projects will be advertised on CPBN’s website and in the local print media as usual once they reach the stage of advertisement.

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