By Francis Emorut
The World Bank has called for professionalism in handling procurement processes in the country in a call made by senior procurement specialist, Howard Centenary.
“It’s a high time we looked at procurement processes beyond compliance but emphasize the need to build professionalism,” he told senior procurement officers, chief administrative officers and heads of departments.
The World Bank specialist argued that experience has shown that 100% compliance has not produced results.
Procurement officers in the country have been castigated for time delays in executing procurement processes and are riddled with corruption.
“Procurement is associated with compliance but I have seen that 100% compliance gets no results,” he argued.
He said there is need to look beyond compliance and focus on the entire procurement process beginning from planning.
“In order to address all the areas we need to build professionalism. Professionals need to exercise discrete judgment when handling procurement processes,” he said.
He made the remarks during the closing of a two-day workshop meant to launch procurement and contract management training manuals programme in Kampala.
The training was conducted by Civil Service College Uganda in conjunction with the ministry of public service and supported by the World Bank.
During the workshop, Centenary talked of early leadership development and underlined that it is the leaders to cause change.
The specialist tasked procurement officers not only to focus on compliance but also bring in innovations which will introduce change in evaluation processes.
The World Bank specialist was backed by the deputy head of civil servants, Hilda Musubira who also advocated for professionalism if service delivery in procurement is to be realized.
“You should make public procurement better by imbibing and demonstrating principles of transparency, accountability, professionalism and impartiality,” said Musubira.
She also appealed to the officers to ensure that they conduct procurement business with outermost efficiency and effectiveness in order to make the public gain confidence in the process.
Aggrey Kibinge, the undersecretary in the Office of the Prime Ministe, raised concern on behalf of trainees that there is need to develop a mechanism of conflict resolution arising out of bidders’ complaints.
The training was based on six modules; emerging trends in public procurement, contracts and contract management, disposal of public assets, evaluation of bids, public procurement and introduction to public procurement and disposal.