Central Supplier Database launched by Minister Nene in East London
The Central Supplier Database (CSD), which is aimed at simplifying the fragmented supply chain management in government and reducing corruption, was launched in East London on Tuesday by Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene.
“This central supplier database is the first step towards standardising, automating and simplifying the fragmented supply chain management system and is seen as the precursor to procurement in government,” the Minister said.
According to the Minister, currently there is no single consolidated comprehensive supplier database and consequently, information related to the compliance requirements of government, is duplicated during procurement processes.
The CSD, which was announced by the Minister in the Budget Speech earlier this year, is a single database that serves as the source of all supplier information for all spheres of government.
The purpose of centralising government’s supplier database is to reduce duplication of effort and cost for both the supplier and government, while enabling electronic procurement processes.
Minister Nene said the benefits of the CSD were plenty, including that it will be the source of all supplier information for all organs of state. Additionally suppliers that are in good standing on the various compliance requirements of government, will experience a reduction in red tape and administrative burden when doing business with government.
Minister Nene said the CSD which forms part of the modernisation of the supply chain management in government will contribute to National Treasury’s objectives of establishing a public procurement system that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective.
The CSD, which went live today, will also help with the fight against corruption. “The first thing is to remove the human element. As you automate you remove the human element and there is a huge possibility of [the] reduction of corruption because that platform is transparent,” explained Minister Nene.
Those attending the launch at the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) heard that currently, R500 billion flows through the procurement systems at different spheres of government on an annual basis. If spent wisely, said the Minister, it could “be a force for the greater good of all South Africans.”
SARS, Home Affairs
The CSD will have interfaces to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to enable tax clearance certificate verification and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for verification of business registration and business ownership information.
It will also verify supplier information with the register for tender defaulters and database of restricted suppliers, and will verify South African identification numbers with the Department of Home Affairs.
Although he could not quantify how much the CSD will save government with costs associated with corruption, Finance Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas said the system should save government money.
“Globally there is a migration in government towards e-governing. ICT is going to be at the centre of modernisation of government, that will improve efficiencies,” said the Deputy Minister.
With Tuesday’s launch of the CSD, prospective suppliers are now able to self-register on the CSD website on www.csd.gov.za. Suppliers can capture and update their information at any time in preparation for the use of supplier data through procurement and financial systems used by all organs of state from 1 April 2016.
Once suppliers have registered on the CSD and their information has been verified, a unique supplier number and security code will be allocated to them.
In addition, suppliers will only be required to register once when they do business with government.
For a supplier to register on the CSD, a valid email address, identity number, cellphone number and bank account details are mandatory.
When registering on the system, suppliers are required to produce tax information as well as commodities that they can supply, among others.
Minister Nene added that government would over the next coming weeks focus on rural areas where registration points will be set up in district offices to support suppliers that do not have access to the internet.
“I anticipate that approximately 250 000 suppliers will be registered in the next six months on the CSD,” said Minister Nene.
The cost of the CSD is to the tune of R9 million. “This forms a small piece of a bigger puzzle. There's an integrated financial management system that is going to be developed and this is the precursor to that process. So the direct cost was R9 million to develop the technology and interfaces and the benefit to business owners will be for free,” said Chief Director at the National Treasury, Schalk Human.
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