Opinion
Piggyback contracts solution to inflated procurement deals
Publish Date: Jan 09, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Charles Kalinzi

The year 2013 saw a lot of complaints over government losing billions of shillings in fraudulent procurements mainly being attributed to inefficient to lengthy process and similar products being procured at different prices from similar vendors thus denying attainment of value for money.

This illustrated innovation aims at leveraging the buying power of several buying entities to meet their existing needs through making use of existing contracts of organisations whose favourable terms and conditions are already negotiated and known to the new buying team(s).

Piggybacking
 

In piggybacking, an agency utilises the pricing and contracting of another agency that has already procured the same product or service, saving the agency the effort of developing its own invitation to bid and going through a separate solicitation process.

The agency that conducted the procurement must have followed their own requirements and met the procurement requirements of the agency attempting to piggyback of the contract. 

Some agencies require a signed agreement between the agencies before accepting the arrangement. It will avoid instances where the same items from probably the same supply region can be supplied to a government agency at rather varying rates which minimises inflated costs.
 

How does government buy using piggyback contracts?
 

A leading question would be whether Uganda’s public entities can use this innovation? The answer is absolutely yes, owing to the fact that majority have similar or make repetitive purchases ranging from stationery, to IT to vehicles etc which are similar across the board.

The fact is, if your organisation is making a straight or a modified re-buy which another public entity has bought before at competitive rates, you do not need to go through the same procurement process, but make use of the existing contract agreement of that entity at a negotiated/agreed terms and conditions to exactly get the same items from the same supplier.

This makes a number of government units become eligible to this innovation, and in the end will save taxpayers money (through saved time and process costs).

All public entity units ranging from municipalities, town councils, local governments and other public authorities like schools, colleges and higher institutions of learning; may obtain say information technology products and services for less time and money using the same contract used by a leading agency.

Such arrangements can, therefore, help by acquiring multiple offerings through a single order. Hence they stand to obtain a complex solution with a one-time negotiation, under which multiple contractor partners can work together to provide total solutions.

Instead of managing complex contractor and subcontractor relationships, they can arrange a “customised multi-vendor solution” simply and efficiently. 

Does piggybacking violate competitive bidding?
 

According to some experts like Mike Purdy’s contracting blog, he reasons that in an era of reduced government resources, piggybacking is an increasingly popular tool for many public agencies in the procurement of goods and services.
 

It does not, therefore, matter whether or not any government organisation has had experience using this technique in the past. I am sure they are interested in process reduction and efficient procurement capabilities. Once they agree on an enabling guide, they can easily get started with expert advice.

In developed economies, where this concept is being practiced, many public and private entities through their cooperative purchasing bodies are already benefiting from this arrangement and making reasonable documented savings ranging between 20-30% of their procurement spend.

I look forward to hearing other policy makers’ opinions about this initiative on new dimensions of obtaining value for money.

The writer is a Procurement Specialist and Lecturer

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Commend Bigirimana for his fight against corruption
I wish to start my article with a quote about corruption from Frank Serpio: The fight for justice against corruption is never easy and never will be. It exacts a toll on ourselves, our families, our friends and especially our children. In the end, I believe as is in my case, the price we pay is we...
Act cautiously on UPDF allegations in Somalia
On the November 6, 2014, one daily newspaper carried a story of UPDF officers who have been suspended for suspected ‘sexual’ offences while on tour of duty in Somalia....
Importance of agriculture
Promoting Agricultural entrepreneurship among the youth” was/is this year’s theme for the 2014 /2015 Miss Uganda pageants....
Utilize sms technology to enhance service delivery in Uganda
The short message service (sms) is a text messaging service component of phone, web or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages....
Every child in Uganda deserves a quality education
Highly skilled human capital, or put otherwise, “skills per capita” of a country, is one of the surest preconditions for achieving development goals. It is needless to emphasise that high quality human capital is positively correlated with a country’s productivity....
Agriculture Police, are they really necessary?
The minister of Agriculture, Animal industries and Fisheries, Tress Bucyanayandi, when launching the national seed board was reported last week in the New Vision to having confirmed that Police has agreed to form a special unit for agriculture to help the ministry in enforcing veterinary quarantine...
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter