PPDA In Spotlight Over Extended Contract Procedures

3334 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The long procurement process in Uganda has attracted criticism from people who say the bureaucracy involved is leading to an increased cost of service delivery.

The long procurement process in Uganda has attracted criticism from people who say the bureaucracy involved is leading to an increased cost of service delivery.
 
At an ongoing Symposium to showcase the impact of public procurement reforms in Uganda many speakers spoke against the duration that it takes to bid for and eventually procure a service. The symposium is taking place at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
 
Moses Kamabaare, the managing director of National Medical Stores, said on Thursday that the statutory period for tendering and displaying the tender was too long for most service providers. He suggested that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), which oversees public procurement, should consider waiving or providing separate regulations for procurement of vital services such as medical supplies to reduce the time spent on procuring the supplies.
 
He explained that the National Medical Stores has about 8,000 items with different characteristics that have to be procured differently leading to much delay yet he says the items are always urgently required in the health facilities in the country.
 
Kamabaare noted that the procurement procedure is sometimes delayed further by complaints from some of the bidders who demand for administrative reviews.
 
Dunstan Balaba, the chairman of Association of Chief Administrative Officers in Uganda also observed that the delayed procurement processes eventually result in increased cost of service delivery. He proposed that government should conduct a research on procurement to establish its exact impact on public service delivery.
 
Amama Mbabazi, the prime minister and Leader of government business also decried the delays in public procurement processes. While opening the symposium, Mbabazi said he is aware that a procurement process that is supposed to last only 5 months is currently taking 11 months to complete before a service is procured.
 
Some of the projects whose procurement is known to have delayed include Karuma and Bujagali hydro power dam construction.
 
Part of the PPDA regulations indicate that bidding period shall be sufficient to allow bidders to prepare and submit their bids and shall not be reduced with the aim of limiting competition.
 
According to the regulations, a procurement process begins with the contracts committee approving the bidding document followed by invitation to bid. This is then followed by issuing and sale of bidding document, receipt of bids and opening of bids before the particular service is procured.
 
The procedure is part of the public procurement reform initiated in 2002, which is supposed to be followed by all government departments and agencies to ensure transparency and accountability.
 
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority is the regulatory body for public procurement and disposal in Uganda set up by an Act of Parliament in