By Billy Rwothungeyo and Jackie Nambogga
The lack of confidentiality during evaluation of bids is hurting the confidence of bidders in public procurement processes in Uganda, Cornelia Sabiiti, the Executive Director of the Public procurement and disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) has noted.
“We have many complaints by bidders, some of their competitors get information before it is officially displayed and communicated, we need transparency to strengthen confidence in the process,” she said.
Sabiiti was speaking at the 5th procurement cadre forum for local government procurement officers recently held in Jinja.
The executive director revealed to the procurement professionals that the authority is considering banning mobile phones during the evaluation process.
“You ask bidders for money even when they will not succeed, avoid corruption because you will be embarrassed,” she warned.
Bid evaluation is a critical part of the procurement process as it is the stage where the winner of a tender is chosen.
Due to the sensitivity of the bid evaluation period, the Uganda National Roads Authority sought accreditation from PPDA to have an Independent Parallel Bid Evaluation (IPBE), with the support of partners such as the World Bank and DFID.
In this arrangement, an independent offshore company evaluates bids, at the same time as UNRA’s evaluation team. The two teams then submit their reports to the contracts committees.
The idea of having a parallel bidding process was aimed at improving bidders’ confidence in the award of UNRA’s tenders.
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Lack of confidentiality hurting bidders’ trust