State Minister for Finance Minister David Bahati has revealed that government wants to get rid of contracts committees in a bid to reduce the time spent in the procurement processes.
State Minister for Finance Minister David Bahati . Photo/File
It is now over three years since the amended Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act came into force. To be precise, the amended Act came into force in March 2014.
Well, government is amending the law again—and this time, with the aim to take drastic measures to cut down on procurement lead times.
State minister for finance, David Bahati, has revealed that government wants to get rid of contracts committees in a bid to reduce the time spent in the procurement processes to just 90 days. Currently, some procurement processes last well over a year.
"We want to demolish the contracts committees. Evaluate, award, and if someone has a complaint, let them go to the tribunal, and if you do not want to go to the tribunal, go to court, and finish," he said.
Speaking while opening the ongoing 10th East African Procurement Forum in Kampala, the minister vented his frustrations at the delays in the procurement cycle.
"We have seen in our area, a dam of almost sh3b, can be petitioned by someone deep in the village, a proxy of someone else, and it takes two years to resolve that issue. Karuma dam took almost two and a half years to procure, a project that is key in lowering electricity tariffs," he said.
"If a president can be installed in three months, why should procuring a rim of paper take you more than three months? Enough is enough; we must make reforms in our procurement processes."
A contracts committee is one of the stages procurement goes through currently. The amended PPDA act even assigned additional roles to these contract committees such as approving procurement plans and any subsequent amendments to the plan, sending a representative to attend pre-bid meetings, and witness bid closure and opening and approving procurement plans.
PPDA Board Chairman Prof. Simeon Wanyama spoke of the importance of the forum in enhancing the role of procurement in the integration of the region.
"There is an ongoing process on the harmonization of the procurement frameworks, policies and standards with the context of the East African Monetary Union protocol. When this harmonization process is completed, this will go a long way in the enhancing economic integration in the region."
Going forward, Wanyama said technology is going to be instrumental in reforming public service delivery
"Governments in East Africa will continue to strengthen and reform the public finance management systems by adopting electronic government procurement to provide a platform for increased transparency, accountability and improved efficiency."