The Public Procurement Bill, which when enacted into law will repeal the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA), will have a far-reaching impact on anyone who supplies goods and services to the public sector. This includes future NHI-related health sector procurement. The public comment period on the draft bill closes on 30 June. The bill aims to eliminate fragmented procurement approaches and enhance the value of investment made into goods and services by government entities and programmes.
The bill seeks to make public procurement more transparent and competitive and introduce measures to ensure the integrity of the procurement process. This should make tendering, procurement and payment across the public sector more predictable and accountable.
Our Market Access Committee is coordinating SAMED’s comments and is urging members to study the bill and also make individual submissions. In reviewing the bill, the committee is focused on the opportunities to resolve key challenges that have impacted on the work of SAMED members, namely how to make tender specifications more applicable and efficient, accounting processes relating to timeous invoicing and payments, and possibilities to introduce the principles of value-based procurement to government approaches. These are prominent features in SAMED’s position on procurement of medical technologies.
SAMED Transformation Committee also intends to review the bill since it strives for a stronger transformational and developmental element. As stated in the draft bill, the future approach to procurement should enable the public administration to become “efficient, ethical, effective, equitable and development-oriented by advancing economic opportunities for previously disadvantaged people and women, the youth and people with disabilities, small businesses, and by promoting local production”.
Further details on how the bill may be relevant to SAMED members:
- Creates new structures (a Procurement Regulator and a Procurement Tribunal), to address concerns suppliers have had in challenging awards and/or the implementation of tenders.
- Codifies the Bid Committees, and provides an opportunity for specificity and product knowledge required in the issuing and awarding bids.
- Relates to recent attempts to equalise product and service availability in the public and private sectors (e.g. the essential medicines list and standard treatment guidelines).
- Contains provisions on transversal contracts, and strategic procurement (a concept used in the NHI Bill).
- Governs practical issues, such as a tender cancellation and re-advertising, but does not govern other matters including tender extensions and issues of variations in quantities.
SAMED will continue to share information about this process with the members and stakeholders.