Addressing the effects of procurement procedure breaches in Higher Learning Institutions: a case of the Lusaka Apex Medical University in Zambia.

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Mtonga, Charlene
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University of Zambia
This study is aimed at addressing the Effects of Procurement Procedure breaches in higher learning Institution. This was a case study of Lusaka Apex Medical University in the City of Lusaka. Due to these breaches, it was discovered that the institution has suffered liquidity challenges. Some of the challenges included some of the goods and services delivered were of poor quality, wrong specifications and more expensive than the actual comparative costs which has led to the institution gradually facing financial constraints. This has affected timely delivery and quality efficiency in operations and service delivery of the Institutions core Objective. The research method used in this study was a mixed methods design and it was more of qualitative (explanatory) and this was when inference statistics was not used. The data used in this research was collected from 53 respondents from LAMU by use of structured questionnaires using both open ended and closed questions; 5 of which are procurement staff; 48 are participants in the Procurement process, which includes; Board of directors, Faculty Deans, Heads of departments and requesters/users. The data was then analyzed using Microsoft excel and statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). The findings therefore highlighted that they are indeed breaches at LAMU with 91% of the respondents in agreement. Some motives that were identified as the reason for breaching the procedures were: personal interest which was the had the highest on the list of repeated responses, abuse of authority and opportunity was also identified as a cause alongside rationalization, pressure, lengthy procurement procedure process and ignorance of the procedure. These, if left unaddressed will have a negative impact on the operational efficiency of the Organisation and future sustainable growth. Most of these challenges can be a thing of the past if the institution took practical steps in addressing the root cause to the problem. Some of the recommendations by the researcher are, top management to raise awareness on the importance of following laid down procedure and enforce it across the Organisation, assist staff in the procurement department and all the participants to implement the laid down Procurement procedure. Promote transparency in the procurement system and develop a procurement Code of Conduct. Offer incentives to those in compliance and Introduce disciplinary action to those failing to adhere to the laid down procurement procedure as outlined in the Procurement Procedure manual and code of conduct. Most importantly, introducing the E-Procurement system that will improve the spend visibility, real time institution’s expenditure and automated sequential procurement procedures. E-procurement eliminates paperwork, rework and errors. Visibility of spend. Centralized tracking of transactions enables full reporting on xiii requisitions, items purchased, orders processes, and payments made. E-procurement advantages extend to ensuring compliance with existing and established procedures and contracts resulting to better Productivity efficiency. Key words: Lusaka Apex Medical University (LAMU), Breaches, Procurement, Supply Chain Management (SCM), Effects, Suppliers, Public, Orders, Bidding, Procedure.
Industrial purchasing--Zambia , Purchasing--Higher education institutions--Zambia , Government purchasing--Zambia