By Brenda Asiimwe
Proper implementation of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in procurement could promote transparency, fairness and competition which is lacking in the industry.
Speaking to procurement professionals at a recent workshop, Orono Otweyo, a technical advisor with the Privatisation Unit, said both procurement and the public sector have a lot to gain from these ventures in terms of cost effectiveness, sustainability, quality of work and consistency.
The workshop which was organised by the Institute of Procurement Professionals of Uganda (IPPU) was held at Hotel Triangle in Kampala.
“PPPs are ventures where the public has projects to undertake but cannot handle on their own, which requires a partnership with the private sector to have the work done,” Otweyo explained.
He noted that with PPPs much work can be done with less resources and the private sector is in better position to manage such projects because they have a lot to lose if the work done is not of good quality.
“Delivery is quick with the private sector involvement unlike public works which take longer lead times because of poor supervision, corruption and management,” Otweyo said.
He said the private sector is always quick to deliver because the faster they do the work, the faster they recoup their money.
Otweyo added that most of the time the Government does not have ready money take on certain big projects and this is when the private sector comes in handy.
He, however, said the main challenge facing PPPs in Uganda is lack of local private firms to handle most of the big projects, meaning that the international firms are always winning the tenders.
Otweyo however, admitted that PPPs fail because enforcement of laws is still weak. He also added that the private sector requires timely payment which the Government cannot meet most of the time.
Milton Tumutegyerize, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) director of training and capacity building, pledged full support to the procurement professionals in case they get any complications with implementation of PPPs.
“In case a procuring and disposing entity has a problem with a PPP project, we have a committee that advises accordingly. Where the issue is technical, we involve professionals like engineers,” he said.
Otweyo advised procurement professionals to always have an expert in all PPP contracts to do a study on the given project to assess the costs, assist in evaluation and negotiations in order to avoid getting raw deals.