World-over, procurement of goods and services by Government and associated public entities constitutes a significant proportion of revenue expenditure. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), public procurement varies between 5% and 8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in most industrialised countries and 9% to 13% in the Middle East and Africa.
Due to the value and volume of public expenditure, reports of questionable deals and corruption in the procurement process, are rampant, thus resulting in loss of public funds. Ideally, public procurement is structured to promote transparency and accountability; and safeguard public funds by embracing systems that promote fair competition among goods and service providers.
Countries have respective frameworks to guide procurement by the public sector. However, challenges are still being encountered owing to lack of adherence to guidelines, flouting of procedures, inadequate monitoring and evaluation systems of awarded contracts and the quality of delivery. These challenges and their negative impact are more pronounced in developing countries and this has led to increased calls to strengthen public procurement systems.