The Government of Malawi, in conjunction with its cooperating partners, particularly the World Bank, embarked on a Procurement and Supply Management Reform Programme as early as 1996. The objective of the programme was to introduce a procurement system that was transparent, fair and accountable. The programme gained fresh momentum in the new millennium with the enactment of the Public Procurement Act of July 2003. One of the important provisions of this act is that of the establishment of the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) whose main function is to provide oversight in all public procurement in the country.

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) was established in 2017 replacing Office of the Director of Public Procurement to monitor and oversee all public sector procurement activities. The PPDA, which is headed by a Director is not supposed to be operationally involved in procurement as this is the responsibility of the Controlling Officers, Heads of departments and Chief Executives of Statutory Corporations assisted by their Internal Procurement Committees (IPCs) and Specialised Procurement Units (SPUs)