1. The Procurement and Disposal Unit
In July 2008 UNRA started operation and the Procurement and Disposal Unit (PDU) was a department under Finance and Administration Directorate (FAD) with 4 staff out of 5 established posts.
There was under capacity in PDU and this resulted into a number of errors and omissions. As a result, the Development partners gave support to UNRA by providing a Procurement Specialist and a procurement consultant to build capacity and in 2010; PDU was elevated to a Directorate with 21 posts of which 15 are filled while recruitment is ongoing for the remaining positions.
Separate Departments for Procurement of Goods and Supplies, and Works and Services (Engineering Procurement) have been established under PDU to address the technical nature of procurement for roads works.
2. Independent Parallel Bid Evaluation (IPBE)
REASON FOR IPBE
Between 2009 and 2010 UNRA faced a lot of complaints from bidders on the procurement process in UNRA.
Therefore together with Donors (World Bank, DFID) UNRA, decided to introduce IPBE as a tool for identifying gaps within the evaluation process and provide reference insights that can be benchmarked by the in-house evaluators to reduce on complaints and improve on the integrity and confidence in the UNRA procurement systems, improve on the quality of evaluations and also reduce the time taken to evaluate. The scope for Independent Parallel Evaluators was set as;
1. Greater than 10 million dollars; to evaluate all Procurements,
2. From 1 to 10 million dollars; to evaluate 30% of Procurement
3. Less than 1 million dollars; to evaluate 10% at random
1. Greater than 2 million dollar; to evaluate all Procurements,
2. 1 to 2 million dollars; to evaluate 50% all Procurements, PPDA gave the approval of the accreditation of the use of IPBE on the 20th October 2011 for a trial period of two years; on condition that IPBE would act as a Technical advisor to the Contracts Committee and will not replace the existing Evaluation process
E-Procurement system has been procured and a contract was signed between the Government of Uganda and the Service provider and It is now at implementation stage.
This system will simplify procurement processes and compliance demands with the public and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Act and regulations and Development partners procurement procedures. The system is designed to run on the Web, it is therefore Web- based and it will automate the procurement cycle.
The system focuses on helping UNRA realize substantial cost savings, better responsiveness, increased efficiency and optimal profits through a turnkey demand aggregation service, compliance tracking centre and flexible cost control solution.
4. Construction Sector Transparency Cost Initiative
Cost is a governance initiative that employs a multi-stakeholder approach. It involves government procuring entities and oversight agencies, private sector consultants and contractors, and civil society groups working together to improve transparency.
It encourages demand and pressure for transparency by bringing together interested stakeholders from the public, private, and civil society sectors. The ultimate result is a new governance and accountability mechanism that builds on existing government institutions, regulations, and demand for increased transparency and better construction results.
Cost uses the disclosure of key non-sensitive information and a multistakeholder approach to improve transparency and to complement other oversight bodies. The relevance and local importance of the infrastructure helps to generate public demand for better management and delivery.
Cost was successfully piloted in eight countries between 2008 and 2011 with funding from the UK Department for International Development and support from the World Bank. The Cost programme is currently being scaled up to be launched in late 2012 and UNRA is in the process of applying for participation.
5. Review of UNRA’s Procurement Procedures for Works and Services
Adam Smith International has been contracted by DFID on behalf of UNRA to implement the Project “Review of UNRA’s Procurement Procedures for Works and Services” which commenced on 1 March 2012 and will run for 3 years.
The consultant is currently preparing a Procurement Procedures Manual for UNRA, and will support UNRA in applying for accreditation of this manual by PPDA. The project also includes comprehensive training for UNRA staff in procurement good practice, and in the application of the new Procurement Procedures Manual.
The UNRA’s Procurement and Disposal procedures manual is intended to address road sector specific and value for money issues by applying reliable application of procurement best practice; including documentation of procedures to support efficient procurement within
the framework of the PPDA Act and Regulations All aspects of UNRA’s procurement procedures are being reviewed in order to develop the manual.
6. CROSSROADS PROGRAMME
URA is a member of the 12 member Road industry council who directs and oversees the cross roads programme. The Creating Opportunities for Sustainable Spending on Roads (Crossroads) Programme is an £18 million (approximately UGX 70 billion) programme, which will run for four years in Uganda. The Programme has two main aims:
• To help improve the quality of Uganda’s road network; and
• To help improve the efficiency of the Government of Uganda’s spending on roads.
To achieve these goals the Programme focuses its efforts on three key areas: finance, capacity development and access to equipment.
Crossroad’s day-to-day work is guided by a full time Secretariat based in Kampala. This Secretariat works closely with the 12 member Road Industry Council to identify the best initiatives to push the Programme’s goals forward.
The Roads Industry Council (RIC) comprises capable and committed individuals from the Ugandan public and private sectors, plus representatives of from the EU, World Bank (WB) and Department for International Development (DFID). UNRA is represented on the Roads Industry Council.
RIC provides a platform for public dialogue and review, and judges and approves interventions proposed by the Secretariat. This ensures all Crossroads’ interventions are relevant and responsive to local needs and priorities.
RIC also informs the Secretariat and development partners of new opportunities and emerging challenges in Uganda’s road sector, and contributes towards setting the strategic direction of the Programme.
Crossroads is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union (EU), and run by IMC Worldwide and Practical Action Consulting.
7. REVIEW OF UNRA’s ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE
The Uganda National Roads Authority was established by an Act of Parliament in 2006 with a responsibility of managing the National Roads Network including its maintenance and development in a businesslike manner.
Therefore, UNRA is a by product of Government’s commercialisation policies mentioned above and it became operational on 01st July 2008. UNRA’s Mandate is to develop and maintain the national roads network, manage ferries linking the national roads network and control axle overloading. Its Vision is to operate a safe, efficient and well developed national roads network.
After three years of operation UNRA found it necessary to undertake a self assessment based on current and forecasted workload and situation and agree the appropriate organisation structure that would enhance effective service delivery
The view is that, whilst good progress has been made, a change point has been reached and initiatives are required to support further change in the culture and direction of the organization.
The purpose of this assignment is to (i) undertake an organizational review of UNRA and (ii) undertake a performance assessment of all UNRA staff, in order to improve the organization’s performance.
8. CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Information management is a crucial function in UNRA to support timely decision making, planning and reporting as well as monitoring and evaluation.
Currently, UNRA was unable to effectively utilize all the data and information collected relating projects/contracts due to the lack of Management Information System that collate this useful data into actionable information.
The aforementioned data is captured in different formats including MS Office applications (Word, Excel and Access), MS Projects, Pastel (accounting package), SQL server and Arc view.
It is against the foregoing background that UNRA set up a Program Portal System that provides dashboard style management from strategic to project levels for budgeting, scheduling and tracking over 200, multi-million dollar projects.
The establishment of an Integrated Contract Management Information System is intended to achieve the following major goals: -
• Effective Project/Contract Document Management: - by allowing electronic storage and retrieval of documents related to the project or contract.
• Easy Program Monitoring: - allowing roll-up monitoring of overall programs based on status of individual projects in terms of schedule and costs monitoring;
• Easy Project life cycle Monitoring/Tracking: - allowing drill-down from program view of the individual project/contract over its life cycle to establish trends and patterns;
• Systems Integration: - allow integration and communication between various system based on the same codes, standards, software (GIS and CAD), etc;
• Performance Accountability: - enable overall programme performance analysis and reporting (both physical and financial) by project, funding source, etc;
9.0 Administrative Reviews
Over the five financial years, i.e. 2008/2009 to 2011/2012, providers have applied for administrative reviews. Below is a table showing how the administrative review applications have varied over the financial years since UNRA was enacted.
1. Scaling up of e-procurement
UNRA makes full migration from paper based procurement to electronic based procurement to increase speed and efficiency
2. Integrated and performance based procurement delivery and contracting strategies
UNRA migrates to more integrated and performance based procurement and contracting strategies which combine design, build and maintenance in order to ensure innovation, efficiency and value for money.
3. Innovative financing Strategies
UNRA migrates from the conventional government budget based financing approach to private sector and user financed approaches through tolling and other strategies.
4. Building the capacity of domestic construction industry
UNRA Procurement procedures manual includes mechanisms to encourage the participation of domestic construction contractors, consultants and professionals.
Local professionals will be seconded with senior foreign professionals and be trained on Highway, Materials/ Pavement, Bridge and Hydrology Engineering.
5. Continuous Performance Evaluation System
UNRA establishes a continuous performance evaluation system that a bidder who didn’t meet its performance target for a specific month will not participate in the subsequent tender
6. Establishment of an objective current workload measurement system
A provider with overloading will not be considered for award of additional contracts.
Uganda National Roads Authourity