- ... MOF attributed most of the procurement irregularities reported by the Auditor-General in the past five years to procurement officers' poor understanding of procurement principles and/or their lack of familiarity with procurement rules...
- Establish business requirements.
- Do a market survey to establish if requirements are achievable within budget or cost effectively. Go to (1), and iterate until satisfied.
- Whether one holds a public tender or asks for quotations from a few sources, it is important to clarify offers and negotiate. In the process of negotiation, it is important not to reveal other offers, but to get the best offer the bidder has to give. In this process, it is important to understand market norms such as typical bulk discounts.
- Award to the bidder that meets the business requirements and promises the best value for money.
Long story short, all procurement officers have to understand is that they have to get the best value for money in a manner that is fair and uncorrupt. The latter, procurement officers are quite familiar with. The former, probably not so. Value for money means knowing what one's budget can buy and trying to stretch the public dollar. It is that simple.
Finally, a simple guideline. If a typical member of the public can get a better deal on a smaller or similar sized purchase, something is wrong.