Factors contributing to non-compliance in public procurement- a KwaZulu-Natal legislature case study.
Gabela, Sandile Eric.
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Public procurement processes are central to the development of the particular society in which they operate. Effective government relies on this system to address the fundamental issues of service delivery. Non-compliance in public procurement is a common factor that affects the effectiveness of the system as a whole. Non-compliance issues must be identified and rectified before they can cause further problems in an already complex public procurement system. The South African National Treasury has indicated five important principles that need to be applied. These are delivering value for money, open and effective competition, ethical and fair dealing, accountability and reporting on equity. This study focuses on the factors that contribute to non-compliance in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature (KZNL) public procurement system. A qualitative, exploratory case study approach was used to assess the perceptions of KZNL procurement staff. The systems assessing non-compliance and the participants’ understanding of the causes of non-compliance were assessed. Their understanding of the legal framework which regulates public procurement and their input into the development of procurement prescripts was investigated. Finally, the steps which have been taken to rectify the extensive non-compliance present in the public procurement system were probed. Participants differed widely in their understanding of the legislative framework. They also exposed reasons for non-compliance ranging from internal causes such as officials not following procedure to political interference with the procurement process and supplier inadequacies. Finally, recommendations were generated from the literature and the participants’ suggestions to improve the public procurement processes in the Kwazulu-Natal Legislature.