By PETER SICHALI
ENGINEERS and project supervisors will be punished for certifying shoddy works under the new Procurement Act to protect public resources, Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply president Chibwe Mwelwa has said.
Mr Mwelwa said the new Public Procurement Act would help grow the capacity of citizen contractors and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
He said erring engineers would be liable to a jail term of up to five years if they sign for poorly done projects.
“For instance, if an engineer signs for the road, then that road or building collapses, that person is liable for jail term of up to five years,” Mr Mwelwa said.
Mr Mwelwa said certification of poorly done projects would attract prosecution to ensure value for money for all public projects.
Mr Mwelwa said the Act also provides for prioritising citizens bidders in awarding of public contracts to help reduce externalisation of funds and to also strengthen the performance of the currency.
He said foreign companies registered in Zambia could only be awarded contracts if they partner with citizen’s contractors.
Mr Mwelwa said the Act has also provided for sub-contracting of local contractors unlike previously where it was not provided for in the statutes.
“So, under the new Act, the minister determines how much will be sub-contracted to a Zambian firm depending on the capacity of the contractor,” he added.
Mr Mwelwa said the new Act also facilitates for skills transfer from foreign contractors to Zambian contractors.