One of the country’s human rights bodies, the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), has said limited access to information on Public Procurement continues to pull backwards the country’s development.
The remarks have been made by CHRR Programs Manager Michael Kaiyatsa during a training workshop on open contracting that was held in Lilongwe during the week ending.
Speaking to journalists during the event, Kaiyatsa said government contracts have to be open to make sure that public money is spent openly, fairly and effectively by using media as tool to sensitize people including those living in remote areas about Public Procurement.
He added that delaying implementation of the Access to Information Act (ATL) is limiting stakeholders’ abilities to access crucial information.
“We need to make sure that no one raises an eyebrow when a person or a company is awarded government contracts. This can be achieved only if Access to Information legislation is enforced,” said Kaiyatsa.
Kaiyatsa added that involving awarded contracts through open competitive processes can go a long way in saving public resources.
He then encouraged all the duty bearers including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to play a major role in sensitizing people about public procurement.
“Our country cannot develop if we continue secretive Public Procurement processes. We need to make sure that our Public Procurement processes are as transparent as possible so that citizens can be able to monitor and participate in Public Procurement,” he said.
Open contracting is the implementation of government contracts in a transparency manner by involving both small and big contractors bringing as well as enabling the general public at large to access information regarding government contracts.