Section 75 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (Chapter 22:23) sets out the manner in which review panels are appointed.
The Review Panel is an independent body that is mandated to sit and review lodged challenge to procurement proceedings of a procuring entity.
Taking into context contents of the previous article premised on section 74, Application for review of procurement proceedings by review panel; the review panel sits and determines the application based on the merits of the application, more on the actual process of review shall come in the following articles in weeks to come.
Essentially the review panel is appointed from one or more lists of panellists prepared by the Procurement Regulatory of Zimbabwe hereafter referred to as the authority. This list of panellists is drawn from a wide spectrum of professionals who may either be active or retired.
The criteria for the list of panellists requires the Authority to request nominations from the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Civil Service Commission, organisations representing professional associations or bodies or commercial and industrial entities; such as the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Engineering Council of Zimbabwe; Architects Council of Zimbabwe to name but a few.
In addition, the board may view that certain organisations that do not immediately speak to procurement directly may merit inclusion in the list for their specific enterprise in a specific review requiring an expert in the field which relates to the procurement, for example Estates Council of Zimbabwe when reviewing a challenge in relation to the purchase of a property whether land or building or both.
These organisations representing professional associations or bodies are then requested by the authority for nominees to be included in the list of panellists. The associations are then expected to communicate with their constituency so that applications accompanied by curriculum vitae (CV) are submitted to PRAZ for consideration.
The Authority is then mandated to make further calls for persons to apply for inclusion in the list of panellists by publishing advertisements in newspapers circulating widely in Zimbabwe. The adverts must state clearly the criteria required from applicants which are the following, individuals that are or have been registered as legal practitioners; individuals who have been senior officers in the Civil Service with experience in procurement and have qualifications or experience in fields relating to procurement. All of the applicants or nominations shall be accompanied by an attached detailed curriculum vitae.
The authority then evaluates the curriculum vitae’s submitted to satisfy the requirements of the Act by selecting members that fit the criteria specified in relation to the constituency, expertise and qualifications. The list must comprise a minimum of nine members and a maximum of twelve.
There is no limit to the maximum or minimum number that the authority may compile. That decision is dependent on the responses that are received by the authority and the trends of appeals.
Thereafter the list of potential review panellists shall be kept at the authority’s offices and shall be open for the public to inspect during working hours free of charge.
From this list the authority having considered the applicants and nominees’ curriculum vitae’s shall select a minimum three-member review panel that shall consist of a registered legal practitioner or former legal practitioner or a member of the judiciary or former member of the judiciary; a former member of the civil service with experience in procurement and one member being an individual that was nominated from the list of professional bodies cited in section 2(a).
For each review panel put together the Authority shall designate a chairperson of each review panel having regard to the seniority and experience of the panellists with each panellist serving three-year terms, that are renewable once therefore meaning no panellist shall serve on a review panel more than six years.
Panellists may be removed or suspended from office by the authority in consultation with the minister, but only for disqualification, incompetence, mental or physical disability, neglect of duty or serious misconduct. Panellists may resign from office by giving one month’s notice in writing to the authority.