Are procurement professionals really at the root of corrupt practices?

| 0 Comments

 

corrupt.jpgThe details of procurement scandals are frequently published. Numerous investigations, reports and articles have described purchasing agreements that suffer under corruption and fraud. But, very seldom does one read about corruption and bribes in sales and marketing (the main counterparts of the procurement profession).


Without defending the procurement or supply chain profession, does it not take two to tango?


We risk alienating the procurement profession, especially public sector procurement, if we fail to address the root cause of corruption or bribery in whatever form, regardless of whichever profession is under scrutiny, argues Jim Makuwa, Procurement Programme Co-ordinator at Commerce Edge Academy.


Corruption (cheating, collusion, bribery, bid rigging, etc.) is the abuse of public resources or misconduct for private gain. The motivation behind it is self-gain, which drives people into a folly that blinds them from wrong or right.


Importantly, this has nothing to do with the profession one belongs to. Rather, it is determined by individual character and integrity. Your profession gives you only leverage: the power to give or withdraw rewards.


The more we talk of the procurement field as a delinquent profession, and continue to turn a blind eye to actions of other functions, the more we conceal the real issues that cause this cancer and enable perpetrators to feel safe about this scourge, says Makuwa.

 

JimMakuwa.jpg“There are as many corrupt people in other fields as there are in procurement.”


Corruption thrives where temptation co-exists with permissiveness


Organisational setups and the nature of most public procurement exposes most procurement personnel to so-called ‘tender-preneurs’ who go to great lengths in their quest for self-enrichment.


Consider a transactional procurement setup that is manned by lowly paid procurement staff charged with the responsibility of transacting multi-million dollar contracts. To this mix add displays of prosperity from successful suppliers. The means of one party to give rewards enables it to influence the other party.


Procurement staff should act professionally, responsibly, with integrity and must avoid being caught up in such deceit. Organisations, on the other hand, should create an environment in which employees will think twice about whether it is worthwhile to lose their status over a shoddy deal: reward employees tasked with making a multitude of financial decisions, build their self-esteem through recognising their efforts and be equitable with organisational or functional status.


Corruption thrives where institutional checks on power are missing


Corporate governance and ethical issues lag behind in the public sector more so than in the private sector owed to a lack of sense of ownership. For-the-government syndrome attracts scrupulous and mischievous people.


Therefore, it is imperative that public sector procurement avails institutional checks and balances to ensure that they are dealing with ethical companies. If there is a need, let companies sign a document of oath that they will deal fairly and transparently with a public entity. Whistle blower initiatives should be promoted and cases of misconduct dealt with swiftly and decisively.


Suppliers should be banned and blacklisted from participating in any future public sector procurement activities and accomplices should be identified, penalised and banned from the procurement profession.


[Public sector procurement practitioners are required to check bidders against the ‘Register for Tender Defaulters’. The ‘Database of Restricted Suppliers’ is also available. However, public sector procurement practitioners seem to not routinely check bidders against these databases, noted the Public Affairs Research Institute in its report “How the state buys: public procurement in South Africa – 2014” – Ed]


Corruption thrives where decision making remains obscure


Suppliers can take advantage of structures where decision making is obscure to further their own ends. Furthermore, bold and cunning individuals will make decisions on behalf of the authorised incumbents. When this happens, a gap is opened to a functional abuse of power for self-enrichment - fortune, the saying goes, favours the brave.


Therefore, state clearly the delegated authority for decisions.


Give to individuals installed in public procurement offices the commensurate authority to swiftly deal with issues. Complacency breeds chaos and the longer the decision making process the more risky it becomes for organisations: culprits may have enough time to connive and circumvent the ethical procurement processes for self-gain.
 

Leave a comment


 

 

Career opportunites

Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Supply Chain
Are you looking for new career opportunities as

Procurement Specialist

  • >500 000 Gauteng Procurement Officer / Specialist Strategic Sourcing Supplier / Business Development
As a specialist Supply Chain recruiter, I am

Logistics Controller

  • <500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Procurement Officer / Specialist
Seeking dynamic up and coming candidates looking for

Supply Chain Manager

  • >500 000 Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain Western Cape
As a specialist Supply Chain recruiter, I am

Business Process Specialist

  • <500 000 Gauteng Procurement Consultant Procurement Officer / Specialist Supply Chain
A company within the financial services sector is

LOC Procurement Manager

  • Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
Your Responsibilities: Job Purpose To be the interface ...More

Account Manager

  • >500 000 Procurement Officer / Specialist Supplier / Business Development Western Cape
Key Performance Areas:• To ensure that all aspects

Consultant

  • >500 000 Gauteng Procurement Consultant Strategic Sourcing Supply Chain
Key Performance Areas:• You'll be concerned primarily with

Commercial Buyer

  • <500 000 Buyer Contracts Procurement Officer / Specialist Western Cape
A well-known Mining company is seeking the services

Technical Buyer

  • <500 000 Buyer Contracts Procurement Officer / Specialist Western Cape
A well-known Mining company is seeking the services

Business Development Executive

  • >500 000 Gauteng Supplier / Business Development
A retail solutions company is seeking a New

Financial Manager

  • >500 000 Contract Operations, Planning & Inventory Procurement Management Western Cape
Looking for an unemployed CA (SA) in Cape

Chief Financial Officer

  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Procurement Management
An exciting opportunity exists for a CFO with

Procurement Consultant

  • >500 000 Gauteng Procurement Officer / Specialist Strategic Sourcing
Key Performance Areas: A profound knowledge of sourcing

Commodity Specialist: IT

  • >500 000 Commodities Gauteng Procurement Officer / Specialist
Key Performance Areas:• Effectively applies acquired technical/functional skills

Senior Consultant

  • >500 000 Gauteng Projects / Category Management Supplier / Business Development
Key Performance Areas:• Adheres to best practice processes

Logistics Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Procurement Management
Key Performance Areas:• Manage warehousing and distribution 3PL's

Head of Franchise Network

  • >500 000 Contracts Operations, Planning & Inventory Western Cape
The opportunity to work for a multinational retail

National Driver Manager

  • >500 000 Analyst Contracts Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Western Cape
The opportunity for an extraordinary individual to join

Commodity Specialist: Industries

  • >500 000 Commodities Gauteng Procurement Officer / Specialist
Key Performance Areas:• Under the guidance of the