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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Procurement controversies -- Tonga

Major weaknesses in Tonga's procurement system
Large-scale procurements are signed with little public or internal oversight, which has been consistently reinforced by the Commission's findings. While procurement committee decisions are overseen by Parliament, the government has rarely made an effort to publicize the results of major government purchases meaning that those outside of government have little opportunity to monitor government procurements.

... the truth is that oversight was remiss due to a lack of clear reporting requirements for procurement decisions both within government and to the public.

While the choices and actions of individual procurement officials undoubtedly played a role in the purchase of a boat unfit for the seas, this tragedy cannot be blamed solely on poor decision-making of a few individuals. The porous legal and regulatory framework is the real culprit. Until Tonga's procurement systems are reformed to establish a clear reporting structure and to require the public announcement of decisions, it is only a matter of time until the next tragedy occurs.

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