He also said many vulnerable groups cannot do business with government because they cannot comprehend the procurement cycle
Pius Bigiramana, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has demanded that some public contracts be reserved for women, youth and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
Speaking at the second procurement forum over the weekend, he decried the lack of reservation schemes exclusively for the above groups.
“There is no affirmative action on the allocation of reservations for women, youth and PWDs owned enterprises for government procurement opportunities. There are no guidelines for implementing reservation schemes for the above groups,” he said.
On top of the reservation schemes under the amended Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act which came into force in 2014, the public procurement regulator recently issued out of guidelines on reservation schemes to promote local content in public procurement. The guidelines are meant to reserve certain contracts exclusively for Ugandan companies.
“I have read through these reservation schemes. They are not specific; they are general,” Bigirimana said.
He also said many vulnerable groups cannot do business with government because they cannot comprehend the procurement cycle and the lingo in the bidding documents.
“Bidding documents are too complex, there is need to simplify these for women, youth and PWDs.”
The new guidelines on reservation are also meant to improve the capacity of local contractors through sub-contracting in the big contracts won by foreign firms. At least 30% of the value of works undertaken by the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Uganda National Roads Authority and Kampala Capital City Authority shall be reserved for Ugandan through subcontracting to local companies in case a contract goes to a foreign firm.