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Government To Launch Online Procurement System In January 2019

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public assets Authority (PPDA) in its role as oversight body of public procurement is in final preparations that will see all public procurement activities handled electronically.

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This is under the electronic government procurement project that is set to be unveiled in January 2019.

PPDA Executive Director Benson Turamye says,eGP comes at the time when government is making a move to digitalize all its bodies in upholding its promise governance.

“When fully functional,eGP will see a migration away from the hand delivery of bids to government agencies. All purchasing processes will be handled online, right from posting of bid notices to upholding bid/tender documents and finally making payments to suppliers,”Turamye explained.

He notes that at least 60% of government revenue is spent on various projects most of which are done through the public procurement process.

Publlic procurement is a central instrument to ensure an efficient management of public resources and subsequently effective public administration.

“eGP will ensure transparency by allowing technology rather than people to do some of the processes, eliminating the interface between suppliers and public procurement and disposal entities which has been one of the most common medium that has allowed corruption to flourish,”Turamye said.

“When you open up and take the process online, the temptation to pay people in the system for favours becomes harder. This makes it cheaper for the service provider given that all bids are available online and will be looked at fairly and transparently,” he added.

Florence Nakyeyune PPDA e-Procurement Manager noted that efficient e-government procurement could save Uganda between 5 percent to 10 percent of the entire size of the development budget.

“Different countries that have embraced e-government procurement have reported substantial savings ranging from 5-30% of public expenditure in public procurement therefore reducing the cost of purchasing for both the government and service provider,” she said.

Nakyeyune explained that the system will be rolled out in phases particularly starting with ten procuring and disposal entities namely National Information and Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U), Ministry of finance, Ministry of water and environment, Kampala Capital Council Authority (KCCA), Uganda National Roads Authority,(UNRA) Civil Aviation Authority(CAA),Jinja District local government,Mpigi District local government and National Social Security Fund.

She said these pilot sectors will give time to the authority to monitor its effectiveness, efficiency and its technical abilities before it is subsequently rolled out to all other government entities country wide.

However Nakyeyune noted that PPDA shall continue to carry out sensitization and hands on training in other procurement departments and entities in order to give them the skills they need to properly put correct data and information into the system.

Benefits of this one procurement system!

Turamye notes that the general public will so be able to access all the planned procurement plans of each government department, successful bids, and the cost of the bids, blacklisted bidders and the database of the registered service providers.

The time between placing an advert calling for bids and evaluation takes about three months. To government, this is quite a long time as it is the entire first quarter of the financial year.

“Through e-procurement this time can be reduced to much less than two weeks hence reducing on the rampant delays in public procurement as the time between putting in the request for bids and actual awarding of the contract will definitely reduce,”Turamye said.

It will also enhance adoption of purchasing enhanced planning and decision making will be inevitable which should be a solution to this area.

With the introduction of e GP,PPDA joins other government agencies such as Uganda Revenue Authority  which adopted e-tax projects and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau that started the process of computerization.

By Felix Oketcho

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