Original Research

Public sector procurement: A private sector procurement perspective for improved service delivery

Sakhile Manyathi, Alewyn P.J. Burger, Nimrod L. Moritmer
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a521 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.521 | © 2021 Sakhile Manyathi, Alewyn P.J. Burger, Nimrod L. Moritmer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 January 2021 | Published: 12 August 2021

About the author(s)

Sakhile Manyathi, School of Public Leadership, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Alewyn P.J. Burger, School of Public Leadership, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Nimrod L. Moritmer, School of Public Leadership, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Service delivery is the core business of any government around the world, especially in developing economies. The government uses various public procurement legislation that govern how public services are procured. The current procurement legislation to acquire goods, works and services for the public at large are said to be ineffective and inefficient, hindering the accelerated provision of public services.

Aim: This article aimed to ascertain the degree to which public sector procurement processes can be modelled to that of the private sector to improve service delivery.

Setting: Several studies have revealed a stagnating nature of service delivery in government entities when it comes to the methods used to procure public services in South Africa. The private sector also does procurement successfully; however, it is slightly different as it is not governed by rigid public procurement legislation causing unnecessary red tapes. The red tapes that are sometimes impeding the accelerated service delivery are a major cause for concern if the government was to improve service delivery at a faster and unhindered pace.

Methods: The research was qualitative in nature and used unobtrusive research methods focusing on a literature review technique. The research entailed a robust examination of the existing literature and trends analysis in the field of public procurement and private sector procurement.

Results: The article revealed that there are several shortcomings in the form of red tapes that the public sector procurement is currently experiencing, which can be mitigated by adopting some of the private sector operational processes. Of course, this might require a total overhaul of the current public procurement processes including some legislation in an attempt to boost service delivery. Such red tapes include inflexibility of government procurement processes to allow for innovations, long-term supplier relationships and effective communication on future government plans. As such, some of these red tapes have a huge impact on improving service delivery, especially if fraud and corruption are involved; some processes are counterproductive and they end up allowing inexperienced suppliers to be chosen who fail to deliver.

Conclusion: Public procurement process in South Africa urgently needs an overhaul to adopt some of the best practices used in private sector procurement operations to improve service delivery. This is because most public resources do not yield value for money because of rigid and stifling public procurement processes.


Keywords

public procurement; private sector procurement; modelling; service delivery; improvement.

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