IPPR advises health ministry on procurement 

Home National IPPR advises health ministry on procurement 
IPPR advises health ministry on procurement 

Ideally, all procurement for any institution during a given financial year should closely correlate with what is contained in that entity’s annual procurement plan. As such, a report by Frederico Links from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) noted the health ministry’s annual procurement plan for 2022/23 should actually make provision for the procurement of clinical supplies at an estimated cost.

Links stated the health ministry’s annual procurement plan for 2022/23 indicates the ministry planned for procurements of a total estimated value of almost N$2.5 billion. 

Of this estimated amount, just over N$1.4 billion was earmarked for the procurement of materials and supplies, which would include the procurement of clinical supplies of all sorts. 

“Of this estimate, roughly N$900 million was to go to the procurement of pharmaceuticals and medicines, while about N$500 million worth of clinical supplies and equipment were to be procured. Of this roughly N$500 million, an amount of just over N$207 million was specifically allocated to the procurement of general clinical supplies for the ministry,” reads the report.

Links added these estimated amounts are important to keep sight of when assessing actual procurement awarding, contracting and spending, such as in the case of the clinical supplies and delivery tender, which became mired in controversy in January this year. 

He further explained the annual procurement plan is a valuable mechanism to assess whether the health ministry is spending within the cost of its plan and whether its procurement planning has both been sufficiently rigorous and realistic.

Furthermore, according to him, the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) on behalf of the health ministry, has approved procurement spending on clinical supplies of roughly N$1.58 billion. 

This is over N$150 million more than the N$1.4 billion total estimated for procuring materials and supplies during the 2022/23 financial year, and over three times more than the roughly N$500 million estimated specifically for the procurement of clinical supplies and equipment. 

“Roughly N$1.58 billion would be spent over two years, at a rough average of just over N$750 million per year over 2022/23 and 2023/24. However, that still means that over N$250 million more than what was estimated for 2022/23 would be spent on procuring clinical supplies, amounting to roughly 50% more than what was estimated for the financial year,” explained Links.

In January, Kanyama’s three-year-old company Amnics Trading courted controversy after bagging lucrative medical supplies tenders which resulted in many competency questions being posed to the CPBN.

One of the tenders awarded is worth N$416.7 million, it was reported, a whopping N$256.8 million higher than the second-highest bidder.

The entire health medical supplies tender, which contains over 400 items, is valued at a staggering N$5 billion.

Amidst calls to cancel the tenders, which are seen as a cash cow for middlemen and political proxies, the health ministry and procurement board say the controversial tenders should go ahead to avoid crippling the public health sector. -mndjavera@nepc.com.na