Botswana gears up to join CoST
Over 100 participants recently attended the first CoST Workshop in Botswana. Organised by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), the event concluded with broad agreement amongst the participants that Botswana should consider joining CoST.
Opening the event, Ms. Bridget P. John, Executive Chairperson PPADB said ‘Botswana is faced with poorly designed construction projects, inadequate supervision and time and cost overruns. Very few projects meet their stated objectives. This has led to PPADB to organise this event and ask stakeholders if CoST is something Botswana should take forward.’
During a Panel discussion, Mr. Leta Mosienyane, President of Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry & Manpower (BOCCIM), said ‘Botswana should adopt and adapt CoST to suit our context. Our procurement legislation is the strongest in the region but we need to disclose information prior to tendering at the drawing of the National Development Plans and budget stages. This is because the problems often arise during the early stages of project identification and preparation’.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure (MIST), Mr. Dikagiso B. Mokotedi emphasised that this CoST workshop could not have come at a better time, considering that his ministry has recently set up a Construction Registration Board, which is currently drafting its regulations and therefore the knowledge gained from the workshop will inform the Regulations.
Ms. Rose Seretse, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) was equally supportive. She said ‘CoST can help to deter corruption as officials will be aware that the information they hold may well be disclosed to the public. It will also help to reduce litigation as the information that is currently only disclosed through a judicial process will have to be released to the contractors and consultants.’
Prior to the Panel discussion, John Hawkins Programme Manager CoST International Secretariat provided an overview of the key feature of a national programme whilst Joe Ching’ani, CoST Malawi MSG Chair, shared the experiences and lessons from implementing CoST in Malawi. The participants also heard from Ms. Masingoaneng Ramodimoosi, Board Secretary and Legal Advisor PPADB about the current legal disclosure requirements contained in the Public Procurement Act in Botswana.
Ms. Dudu D. Thebe, Manager-Works (PPADB) who directed the workshop underscored in her wrap-up remarks that there certainly would be need for another workshop or meeting soon, in order to further develop the proposals that were made.