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USTDA Partners with the Republic of Botswana to Pursue Excellence in Public Procurement

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

(USTDA)  GABORONE, BOTSWANA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Botswana's Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), outlining a joint commitment to establish best-value procurement practices and policies in Botswana. The goal of this partnership is to improve the Government of Botswana's capacity to make informed decisions that take into account all relevant costs of goods and services over the entire life of a project – particularly large-scale infrastructure projects that have a widespread economic impact. This approach will not only lead to smarter, longer-term investments with overall savings to the Government, but will increase competition and deliver better development outcomes.

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Michael Murphy, who signed the MOU on USTDA's behalf, called the program "one of the most important priorities for the U.S. in Botswana." He said, "This program is designed to ensure that Botswana is able to make informed choices for large-scale infrastructure projects, which will lead to long-term, sustainable investments and greater economic growth."

The MOU, which establishes Botswana as USTDA's first partner country under its Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI), was signed at the conclusion of the first round of specialized training for procurement officials from the PPADB and nine Ministries. The training represents the first activity undertaken as part of the new partnership. USTDA worked with its globally recognized GPI partner, the George Washington University Law School's Government Procurement Law Program, to develop a three-day intensive training in Gaborone for 37 public procurement officials. The training was designed to strengthen the capacity of procurement officials in the areas of tender specification and design, best-value determinations, contract management, risk mitigation, and complaint review mechanisms.

Further activities envisioned under the MOU include more intensive follow-on training in the United States for selected officials from Botswana. This partnership will support the PPADB's goal of becoming a center for excellence in public procurement in the Southern Africa region by 2018.