The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) is one of the autonomous State institutions for governance and was established in 2017 replacing Office of the Director of Public Procurement to monitor and oversee all public sector procurement activities.Up to about the year 2000, public procurement in the Central Government was the responsibility of Central Government Stores (CGS) and Central Tender Board (CTB). Procurement activities under the responsibility of these two institutions were noted to be poorly done resulting in huge losses of government revenue. In view of this, the then Head of State, in his Millennium Speech on 31 December 1999, directed that all public procurement be done through his Office (OPC). By that time, Government Contracting-out Unit (GCU) and Rationalisation Unit (RU) were already established in the OPC. GCU was established with the sole purpose of contracting-out non-core Government services. It was, therefore, given the task of approving all major contracts and administer Interim Procurement Guidelines OPC developed.
It also managed the public procurement reforms under Fiscal Restructuring and Deregulation Project (FRDP 111). CTB was dissolved in 2001 and all its functions were split between GCU and Government Ministries and departments. The GCU carried out its responsibilities until 2003 when the Public Procurement Act which was the result of a 1996 diagnostic study conducted under the Procurement and Supply Management Reform program, was passed. The ODPP was then established in April 2004 under Section 4 of the Act to champion the establishment of a strong procurement management in the public sector and respond to glaring problems identified in the diagnostic study.
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 General of Public Procurement (ODPP) whose main function is to provide oversight in all public procurement activities 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 General 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)