An assessment of factors leading to imprudent procurement practices in public institutions in Zambia: the case of Ndola and Kitwe districts.

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Chiputa, Ntanda Trevor
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The University of Zambia
Procurement in Zambia is governed by the Public Procurement Act Number 12 of 2008 and the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011 while the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) is the body that has the mandate to regulate and control public procurements in Zambia. ZPPA has over the years been facing imprudent procurement practices in government institutions leading to the quality and quantity of procured goods and services not meeting the requested specifications. In some cases actual expenditure is higher than budgeted funds. Furthermore, this has led to most government projects not being implemented as planned and also negatively affect the standing of the government with its stakeholders. It’s against this background that the research sought to assess the factors that negatively affect prudent procurement practices in public institutions in Zambia ( with specific reference to Ndola and Kitwe districts) and to identify possible strategies as measures of intervention. The research was qualitative and it utilized both primary and secondary data. The research sampled procurement professionals from ten public institutions in Ndola and Kitwe cities of Zambia. The study identified the main factors that lead to imprudent procurement practices in public institutions in Zambia as unethical practices, political interference, lack of compliance to regulations and procedures, size and capacity of staff in procurement units, inconsistencies between local and international regulations, lack of ICT equipment and wrong perceptions. The assessment also recommends the following strategies and measures in order to enhance prudent procurement practices: improve capacity of procurement staff through training and development, ensure procurement policies support prudent practices, integration of procurement functions with ICT and minimize political interference in public institutions.
Public procurement. , Public procurement procedures. , Public procurement--Zambia.