By Francis Emorut
JINJA - Senior procurement officers in government ministries and their counterparts at local government level have been urged to demonstrate professionalism and transparency during the procurement processes.
The key-point to them is to do away with being unscrupulous so as to reduce theft of huge sums of money associated with the areas they work in.
In essence, procurement accounts for over 70% of government’s budget for goods, services and works but according to the auditor general’s report, 20% of that is lost by way of corruption.
“In this regard you are supposed to make public procurement better by imbibing decency, accountability, integrity, impartiality and diligence,” Jane Kyarisiima Mwesiga, the commissioner human resource development at the ministry of public service told heads of procurement and senior procurement officers.
Her argument is that showing loyalty and discipline as well as making systems efficient and effective will encourage other actors in the field to emulate them.
“In this way you will be able to strengthen the procurement and contract management function in the public service that will result in enhanced economy, efficiency and transparency in the management of public service procurement operations,” she said.
She made the remarks during the closure of a three-day training of trainers and curriculum development workshop for public procurement and contract management programme at Civil Service College Uganda in Jinja on Friday.
Citing the World Bank report of 2005, Mwesiga pointed out the country loses $258.6m (about sh510b) every year through procurement malpractices and corruption.
She said this figure could be reduced if heads of public procurement adhered to principles of accountability and integrity.
The training was organized by Civil Service College Uganda in conjunction with Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) aimed at developing a new curriculum module of procurement and contract management.
The module will be used for training purposes of procurement officers across the country.
The training attracted heads of procurement and senior procurement officers at the ministry of health, ministry of finance, ministry of works, Electoral Commission, ministry of public service, ministry of local government and those from the districts.
Moses Odyambo, manager and capacity building at PPDA appealed to government and development partners to fund the activities of Civil Service College since the institute is mandated to train heads of government agencies and managers.