Professionalising supply chain management as an alternative mechanism to curb corruption in the South African public institutions

04 Jun 2019

In South Africa, government is considered the largest purchaser of goods and services because of the many entities within the three government spheres. Government entities are required to ensure value for money when contracting for goods and services which is both a principle of good governance as is a constitutional obligation. The South African government introduced procurement in the public service as a means of ensuring effective public financial management in government activities. Procurement involves the acquisition of goods and services by an institution to enable it to execute its functions and to provide services to the people by means of commercial dealings (Pauw, Woods, Van der Linde, Fourie & Visser, 2009:228). Adding on this, procurement of services and goods in South Africa has at all times been a leading matter when it comes to the financial controls and accounting records of government entities. Based on the above, the argument of this paper is that if supply chain management and procurement are treated as separate practices and a lot of focus is placed on procurement and not supply chain management as a tool through which government can achieve effective procurement. Then government will not achieve its goal of reducing corruption and financial misconduct in the provision of goods and services to the people and in acquiring goods to run the different government entities The research design used in this article was a qualitative method. Data were collected through extensive review of public documents, government publications and legislation, newspaper articles, accredited journal articles and books. The results showed that although there are many laws governing these practices, in the public sector, there are still challenges that negatively affect the effective and efficient execution of supply chain management and procurement in the public sector. The major challenge is fraud and corruption within public institutions. The paper recommends that public institutions should place more emphasis on strengthening the internal audit function. Keywords: Procurement, Public sector, Public service, Supply chain management