Procurement Reforms Will Spur National Dev’t


this sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>For transparency and value for money, sickness elaborate principles were integrated into Uganda’s procurement law – the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Act.

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However, Government learnt from its Procuring and Disposing Entities (PDEs) that the PPDA Act was inherently restrictive.

Long bidding time-frames and rigid guidelines for contracting process are among the constraints sighted.

PDEs blamed these processes for bogging down construction of public infrastructure and extension of essential services to the masses.

To reform the process, Government effected amendments to the PPDA Act, enforceable from 3rd March 2014.

The amended PPDA Act provides for clustering of Government sectors.

To hasten service delivery, Government has targeted the ‘frontline sectors’ to hasten their procurement processes for purposes of achieving their targets in time.

Government can for instance now procure drugs under restricted bidding if their value doesn’t exceed Shs 2bn.

For supplies and works, thresholds were increased, for example for open bidding from Shs 50m to Shs 200m.

For the agricultural sector, the revised guidelines provide for simplified procurement procedures for procurement of planting materials like coffee seedlings.

In works, the amended Act allows for an independent Bid Evaluation process which has reduced complaints, enhanced efficiency, transparency and confidence in public procurement.

Elsewhere, the new guidelines have simplified procurement and disposal guidelines for the schools.

Noteworthy is a standard bidding document for procurement of scholastic materials.

Government entities must now display their procurement plans at the beginning of each Financial Year.

Accordingly, prospective suppliers will have timely information about available tenders and prepare to compete for them.

PDEs will are now required to debrief bidders on the procurement decisions, including reasons for non-consideration of their bids.

Actions by PDEs have to be fair, explainable and of utmost benefit regarding public service delivery.

Government is for a growth model anchored around the multiplier effect from resources that remain within our economy.

Which is why the amended Act also inclination towards local bidders. There is a clear margin of preference to benefit Ugandan companies.

Goods manufactured in Uganda with value or labour addition on the final product of more than 30% are preferred.

Unspecified time-frames for bid evaluation have been a source of major delays in public procurement.

For instance the bid evaluation for building a one-stop Border Post for Busia and Malaba delayed for six months, stalling the procurement process by one year. Not anymore!

The amendments to the PPDA Act have reduced delays by providing for 20 days for supplies and 40 days for works.

Contract management, is also enhanced for purposes of tracking of contractors to ensure delivery as per the quantity, quality and time frames pre-agreed.

Accounting Officers have greater lee-way to appoint and sanction contract managers.

Government commends Ministry of finance Planning and Economic Development and the PPDA for leading these and other reforms in Uganda’s procurement law.

All PDEs should quickly internalise and work with the reforms to hasten our bid for national transformation.


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