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JCC president Fazir Khan.

The Joint Consultative Council (JCC) is calling on the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General to say when the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act (PPDPPA) of 2015 would be fully proclaimed.

In a statement, the JCC said it has to alert the public about what it labelled as the ongoing procrastination by the Government (GOTT) to proclaim the Act.

It said the 3rd Amendment of The Act was brought by the government in 2020 and was assented to by the President on December 27, 2020.

The next step in the process was the amendment of the Regulations to bring it in line with the amended PPDPPA.

The JCC said it is aware however that the Amended Draft Regulations were supplied by the OPR to the Legislative Review Committee (LRC) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Jan 25 this year after formal meetings between their respective legal teams.

A response to the Amended Regulations from the Ministry of Finance is still outstanding to date. It is almost three months since the Amended Regulations were submitted by the OPR.

The JCC added that even after a review/response from the MoF is forthcoming; a review by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) has to be carried out before Cabinet can deliberate on its recommendations. Only then can the Amended PPDPP Regulations be laid in Parliament.

The JCC explained that what this means for the public is that the operationalisation of the Office of the Procurement Regulator remains glaringly outstanding in March of 2021.

It said that in the meantime, public bodies continue to operate spending public funds without independent oversight by the OPR.

The JCC added in these very lean economic times, this procrastination by the government continues to be a travesty for the citizens of this country.

As such it said it is calling on the Attorney General and/or Minister of Finance to please advise the public as to when the full proclamation of the legislation and actual operationalisation of The Office of the Procurement Regulator would happen.