procurement professionals ask for recognition in the PPDA bill. National Medical Stores ask that the bill recognises emergency procurement of medicines and medical supplies.
Procurement professionals in Uganda want to be included in the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Amendment Bill that is before parliament for scrutiny.
The professionals want recognition because their trade, procurement, is at the heart of any transaction both in government and the private sector.
The bill, among others, seeks to ensure transparency and accountability by streamlining the functions of the accounting officers and contracts committees by making them liable for their procurement actions.
Benon Basheka, the chairman of the Institute of Procurement Professionals of Uganda, wants the law to define who a procurement professional is and the roles. He says there is no profession that works without procurement.
Government spends over 70 percent of its resources on public procurement. It is estimated that 20 percent of the resources is lost through corruption.
Basheka notes that government needs to recognize the procurement professionals in the law to curb such vices. This, he argues, will in turn ensure proper service delivery.
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Robert Lugolobi, the Executive Director of Transparency International Uganda is in agreement. He notes that recognizing the profession in the law makes it transparent and increases value for money to eliminate corruption.
Procurement corruption is promoted when public servants connive with services providers to fleece public funds.
Lugolobi says that having professional procurement officers will help curb the vice.
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Meanwhile, National Medical Stores (NMS) wants the PDDA law to allow emergency procurement of medical supplies.
Kamare Moses, the General Manager , says the current law does not provide for the special nature of procurement of medicines and medical supplies. These supplies are lumped together will all other supplies under the PPDA law.
Kamare reasons that medicines and medical supplies are critical inputs in the treatment of patients.
Uganda gets more than 90 percent of all medicines and medical supplies from abroad. Most of the medicines and medical supplies are from India and China where they are relatively cheap.
According to Kamare, it takes at least 2 months between the time of placing an order to the arrival of the supplies to Uganda by sea. Other bulky items arrive by air.
But Frank Tumwebaze, the chairperson of the parliamentary finance committee, says NMS needs to draw up a list of drugs procured through emergencies to curb abuse of the law.