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Monitoring Public Procurement in South Africa: A Reference Guide for Civil Society Organizations

Monitoring Public Procurement in South Africa: A Reference Guide for Civil Society Organizations

by Carlene van der Westhuizen | December 2015

south-africa-monitoring-public-procurementIn South Africa, as in most other countries, government departments need to follow specific, legally defined procedures when buying goods and services from the private sector. The procurement process is designed to be fair and ensure that the best value is achieved with public money.

When public procurement is not working as it should, service delivery is compromised – resulting in goods and services that are of poor quality, delivered late, or not delivered at all. In this way public procurement has a direct impact on the lives of people throughout South Africa. It is therefore critically important that the public understand and monitor the process.

This Guide presents civil society organizations and other interested readers with information and tools to help monitor public procurement. The assumption is that robust oversight over public procurement in South Africa will ultimately improve service delivery, reduce corruption, and strengthen public participation.

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20 Key Questions About Your County Budget

The 2014/15 county budget process was plagued by many challenges, but most counties managed to produce Fiscal Strategy Papers for the first time, and many based their budgets in part on these papers. Moreover, as required by the Public Finance Management Act 2012, many counties shifted to programme-based budgeting this year. As counties finalize their budgets, it is time to start analyzing them. In order to help citizens and organizations at county level engage with their budgets, we have revised and expanded our “16 Key Questions” tool from last year to include 20 questions.

16 Key Questions About Your County Budget

As citizens and the media try to understand and interrogate county budgets, we believe it is useful to have some orientation to help Kenyans know what to look for and how to interpret what they are finding. For this reason, Institute of Economic Affairs, The Institute for Social Accountability, International Budget Partnership, WALINET, World Vision Kenya, ARTICLE 19, and I Choose Life – Africa have come together to provide a set of questions with guidance that can be used by anyone who wants to know where to start when looking at a county budget. We have also used this tool to analyze some budgets ourselves.

This report is complemented by the synthesis paper based on some of the findings of analysis of the 2013/14 county budgets. For application of this tool to some county budgets, see County Budget Analysis.

In July 2014 we expanded this tool to include 20 questions.