By Billy Rwothungeyo
The public procurement regulator is open to the possibility of issuing market price guidelines to the accounting officers as implementation of the new procurement law vests more responsibility on the chief executives.
“It (the law) says that the accounting officer shall not sign a contract where the price is higher than the market price, and of course there are sanctions in the law,” said Milton Tumutegyereize, public procurement and disposal Assets Authority (PPDA)’s director of training and capacity building.
Accounting officers are also required to undertake assessments of the market price before the commencement of the procurement process.
“This (sanctions) have not been there before. So most likely, the accounting officers are likely to fall into this trap, but we are sensitising them.”
Speaking at a capacity building workshop organised for the media recently, Tumutegyereize added: “It is not easy to determine this market price. We shall issue guidelines on how this market can be determined.”
“The law envisages that every entity will know at what price they are going to get their product. If they want to buy a car, they should know how much it costs by the time they make their budget estimates, so they should survey.”
The new law, which was launched in March, also broadens the definition of accounting officer, from those appointed by the permanent secretary to include heads of statutory bodies or state enterprises.
Further, the new law empowers accounting officers to sign a contract without a decision by the contracts committee, where it is unable to meet, in emergency situations.
Tumutegyereize said it is important for the media to understand the procurement cycle in the quest for better value for money in the public procurement.
“Whoever has failed to explain their budgets would say the procurement process is long. PPDA law is the problem. It is the people — the entities themselves who are either inefficient or have conflict of interest, therefore they delay and give contracts unethically,” he said.
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