The central focus of this study is to assess the effect of procurement professionalism on performance of the public procurement function in Tanzania. In order to achieve the stated objective, respondents were asked questions on management of records and documents, staffing of the procurement department, competency of personnel involved in the procurement activities, independence of functions and powers in discharging procurement responsibilities and existence of the Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct. The target population was 470 public entities out of which 100 entities purposively constituted the sample size. Performance of the procurement function was assessed by the extent to which the department has achieved the procurement objectives expressed in terms of on Time delivery, right Quality and right Cost of the procured items, works and services. The study used mixed – qualitative and quantitative research techniques for data collection, presentation and analysis. The study used a multistage stratified random sampling technique in identifying potential respondents. The study was guided by a null hypothesis that there is no significant effect of procurement professionalism on performance of the procurement function in the Tanzanian public entities. Data were mainly collected through structured and self administered questionnaires supported with face to face oral interviews. Based on the results of the regression analysis, the coefficient for procurement professionalism is 0.526 and the t-test value is 4.360 and this coefficient is significant (p – value =0.000 < 0.05). These findings suggest that 53% of the variation in performance of the procurement functions in public entities was explained by the extent to which officials involved in the procurement process and decisions in the entity had adhered to procurement professionalism in the course of discharging procurement functions and responsibilities. The study recommends that the procurement departments in Tanzania must be staffed with adequate and professionally qualified personnel. The strategic importance of procurement professionalism on performance of the procurement function will only be realized if there is enforcement of the current provisions of the law addressing procurement professionalism.
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