The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has challenged public procurement officers to exercise high levels of transparency and accountability by providing timely information to the public on any procurement issues in their respective institutions.
CHRR executive director Michael Kaiyatsa said this is critical in maintaining public trust and removing suspicions in the public tendering processes.
Kaiyatsa made the remarks when he opened a training for procurement officers from selected public institutions which was held last Friday.
Procurement officers from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), Lilongwe Technical College, Lilongwe District Health Office (DHO) and the Lilongwe District Council attended the training, which was facilitated by an official from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).
Kaiyatsa said access to information is a fundamental human right and a precondition to transparency and accountability in the public sector.
“Given this fundamental right to information, governments have a duty to provide access to information. To achieve good governance, countries must accept Access to Information as a fundamental human right,” he said.
He added that citizen’s access to information facilitates understanding of decision making process thereby contributing to transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors.
“Information empowers people to demand their right to participate and improve realization of economic, social and cultural rights, and by extension, promote transparency,” said Kaiyatsa.
A PPDA official advised the procurement officers to always make public and upload all the information related to procurement processes, evaluation reports.