Government launches consolidated eTenders portal

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At the beginning of this month the government launched a single eTender portal and central supplier database, which will make it a lot easier doing business with the government, including the Department of Defence.

National Treasury, as announced by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in his national budget on February 25, has been operating the eTender portal from April 1.

The portal can be accessed at www.etenders.gov.za and tenders for the current financial year should start going through towards the end of this month (April) for approved procurement plans, according to a National Treasury statement.

The initiative is aimed at “simplifying, standardising and automating the procurement process” and will initially only service national and provincial departments with local government in the form of municipalities coming into it on July 1.
“The portal will carry tender notices, accompanied by official tender documents and relevant terms of reference or other descriptions of functionality as applicable. Award notices and the minimum information prescribed by the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer will also be published,” the statement said, adding technical support for it would be the responsibility of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

Treasury sees the portal as a first step toward implementation of government’s eProcurement system as part of the integrated financial management system.
“It will directly contribute to reducing duplication, fragmentation and inefficiency in government tender publications,” the statement said.

According to Business Day, the portal will help to stem corruption. Estimates are up to R40 billion was lost to corruption last year out of the R700 billion spent by all three levels of government.

The portal has, Treasury said, a search capability to identify opportunities in categories such as motor vehicles, medical or IT equipment as well as tender type (request for bid, request for information or request for quotation) and sector, for example education, defence or health and finally whether it is for a national or provincial department or a local or district municipality.

Treasury maintains the portal will reduce the red tape and administrative effort involved in doing business with government.
“Access to tender information will be centralised and transparency increased by publishing award notices with winning bidder and price quoted.”

There is no indication of whether government agencies, such as Armscor, or Sate owned entities, such as Denel, will at a later stage become part of the eTender portal.

Armscor has to date this year issued 54 tenders. These range from ammunition handling, transport, recovery and disposal services through to cleaning and repair of bulk storage tanks.