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PRAZ trains law enforcement agencies on procurement crimes


Bulawayo (New Ziana) – The relationship between law enforcement and procurement agencies is critical in ensuring integrity and transparency in all procurement processes in the country, an official has said.

Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) acting chief executive officer, Freddy Ndlovu said this while addressing a training workshop for law enforcement agencies in the country on procurement related issues.

The participants were drawn from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

PRAZ was launched in 2019, replacing the State Procurement Board (SPB).

The authority was created under the Public Procurement and Disposal of State Assets Act to supervise procurement units after government tendering was decentralised.

“Together these entities can detect, investigate and prosecute procurement related crimes leading to a more accountable and transparent public procurement system,” Ndlovu said.

“Relating to procurement procedures is of utmost importance for various reasons ranging for legal compliance, fairness and transparency, efficient resource allocation, risk mitigation and supplier relationships,” he said.

Ndhlovu said it was critical for law enforcement agencies to be acquainted with the procurement policy and regulatory framework as it contains guidelines and procedures that governs procurement activities to ensure compliance to applicable laws and regulations.

“For effective implementation of Public Procurement and Disposal Public Assets Act you will find this training workshop very useful in the execution of your duties. We have new regulations that we all need to acquaint you with. Looking at the sub topic of investigation of procurement related crimes as law enforcement agencies, you play a critical role in investigating and prosecuting procurement related crimes,” he said.

“This includes offences such as bribery, bid rigging, embezzlement, fraud and other corrupt practices,” he said.

Ndhlovu also said that effective collaboration and information sharing between procurement entities and law enforcement agencies is essential as it helps in identifying and addressing procurement related crimes more efficiently.

He also said law enforcement agencies had a role to play in the protection of whistle blowers who come forward with information about procurement irregularities or corruption.

“Whistle blower mechanism, including anonymous reporting channels and legal safeguards, help and encourage individuals report wrong doings without fear of retaliation. At your level, you may investigate and take action based on the information provided by whistle blowers,” he said.

“Knowing that law enforcement agencies actively investigate and prosecute offenders can discourage (would be offenders) from engaging in corrupt practices, thereby promoting greater integrity and compliance in procurement processes,” he said.

Ndhlovu said this collaboration involves sharing information, coordinating investigation and facilitation of extradition of individuals involved in procurement related crimes.

This collaboration involves sharing information, coordinating investigations and facilitation of extradition of individuals involved in procurement relate crimes.

“In terms of asset recovery and seizure, in cases where corruption or fraud has resulted in financial gains, individuals and entities, as law enforcement agencies, you may be involved in asset recovery and seizure,” he said.

New Ziana

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