By Francis Emorut
The amended Public Procurement and Disposal Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act and regulations will come into force on March 3, the finance minister Maria, Kiwanuka, has revealed.
The minister said the amended PPDA Act is intended to strengthen administrative review process through the authority’s tribunal which will ensure more transparency, fairness and instill confidence of the public in the procurement process.
Kiwanuka said this while launching the public procurement and contracts management training manuals that will be used by procurement experts to address shortcomings in the procurement process experienced by procurement officers and contract management committees across the country.
The launch took place at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Wednesday.
The manuals were developed by Civil Service College Uganda and funded by World Bank.
Kiwanuka informed the senior procurement officers, permanent secretaries, chief administrative officers, heads of departments and Members of Parliament that the amended PPDA Act is expected to improve procurement process in the areas of increased absorption and commitment of funds through improved procurement planning, transparency and accountability in which functions of accounting officers and contracts committees are streamlined and regulated use of force account mechanism to ensure value for money.
She implored participants to ensure that public procurement must be service delivery oriented and achieve value for money.
Sezi Mbaguta the state minister of public service pointed out that corruption in public procurement is a serious ethical issue that requires deliberate and systematic approaches to deter corrupt officials in order to eliminate the vice.
She noted that prudent and sound public procurement and disposal process is required to spur economic development.
The World Bank senior public sector specialist, Barbara Magezi Ndamira, said the procurement and contracts management training manuals are significant in that it will build cadres who are experts in procurement processes.
“We expect that the new manuals will address bottle necks that have been causing delays in procurement,” Ndamira said.
She said if this is done services will be delivered in timely manner and ensures that government will achieve value for money.
Zombo district Woman MP Grace Kwiyucwiny noted that the training manuals will address the gaps on time delays and corruption loop holes.
Kyenjonjo chief administrative officer Samuel Katehangwa said that the new manuals will enhance transparency and accountability.
Milton Kato the chief administrator officer, Lamwo district said the manuals will equip procurement officers with skills in handling procurement processes in a transparent manner.
“It’s a good manual. Accounting officers will become knowledgeable in procurement procedures and be accountable,” Kato said.