CHRR calls for citizen participation on open contracting

By Owen Nyaka:

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has urged communities to make follow-ups when district councils are awarding contracts for different projects especially in the health and education sectors.

CHRR Acting Programs Manager Thandizo Mphwiyo says there is need for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the business community and Community Monitors to promote and protect Open Contracting for increased efficiency, transparency, competitiveness and value for money.

Mphwiyo expressed the sentiments in Salima during a two-days training of the civil society, the business community and community monitors. The training was organized with funding from Africa Freedom Information Centre (AFIC) in order to impart skills on monitoring of public procurement and disposal of goods and services.

The training centered on the stages of the contracting process, the benefits of disclosure and how the public can actively participate in public contracting.

“As CHRR, we observed that there is a gap between communities and government in making sure that proper procedures are taken when granting contracts to suppliers. The five year project ‘Disclosure to Impact’ aims at addressing this gap,” says Mphwiyo.

Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Dr. Yonasi Chise who is also Acting District Commissioner for Salima says the council’s door is open for social accountability. He commended CHRR for the timely training to the CSO’s network and business community. He said that the council is open enough to citizens’ on issues of open contracting.

Memory Dick a lead farmer at Tembwe Extension Planning Area (EPA) says she will impart the knowledge amongst the farmers in Pemba area to take part in the processes of open contracting. “This training is an eye opener for the community to be making proper follow ups when government is awarding contracts to bidders”, Dick said.

Salima Governance Committee Chairperson Thomas Mwangupiri says the training is an eye opener and it has come at the right time. He said the open contracting training will assist them on development issues like monitoring public contracts and delivery of public services, access to information and they will engage citizens on public contracts information.

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