The Open Contracting Multi-Stakeholder Group (OC-MSG) has called upon government to establish a higher level multi-stakeholder committee comprising the donor community, civil society, media, faith-based organisations, private sector and government on the fight against COVID-19.
OC-MSG has also called upon government to be accountable and transparent in the handling of funds meant for COVID-19 intervention.
Addressing the media in Lilongwe on last week, the chairperson Leon Matanda, said that the cabinet committee on COVID 19 should be reporting to the national multi-stakeholder committee.
“While making the cabinet committee on COVID 19 the apex of the national response demonstrates high level government commitment, the OC-MSG believes that the arrangement has potential to limit participation of other stakeholders,” reads part of the statement read at the briefing.
Matanda said policy direction and conduct of procurement of urgently needed COVID 19 supplies cannot be under the confines of a cabinet committee alone.
“We therefore feel that it is not too late to expand on the areas of national reporting. The National Response team can improve from merely announcing statistics or numbers of new infections or loss of lives as a result of the pandemic to releasing of detailed information in respect of public procurement at institutional, district, regional and national level.
“It is not too late to test the adequacy of Malawi Laws that govern emergencies and nation disasters. Unless Malawi is convinced regarding the adequacy of policies and legislation, the country risks to lose many lives merely because resources directed to dealing with emergencies and nation disasters continue to be mismanaged,” he said.
He further called upon the authorities to adopt a Human Rights Based Approach to this specific humanitarian response in order to ensure that persons or group of persons with greater vulnerability such as children, persons with disability and the elderly have all of the requirements addressed.
He added that by virtue of COVID – 19 presenting itself as a human rights disaster, Human Rights Commission should be seen to take a critical advisory role.
“Meanwhile the public is looking forward to national disclosure regarding volume of donations in cash and in kind to Malawi from within and outside the country and how such has been expended consistent with the National Response to COVID 19 March – June 2020,” he said.
OC-MSG is an assemblage of stakeholders in Open Contracting, founded in 2018 by Civil Society Organisations, Government, Private Sector, Development partners, Academic, Research Institutions and media. The OC-MSG seeks to improve disclosure of public contracting information, accountability and ultimately improved value for money from public contracting.
Through evidence based advocacy, the OC-MSG is constantly committed to ensuring that it promotes the development of focused and holistic action plans to support effective and efficient interventions aimed at improving public procurement and open contracting processes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :