The Public Procurement and Disposal Authority (PPDA) has summoned 15 firms for a hearing in regard to alleged fraud cases under investigation.
PPDA yesterday issued a notice of suspension hearing to the 15 companies requiring their directors to appear before the Authority on January 12, 2018 in connection to the ongoing investigations.
“Information regarding the matters being investigated can be got from the PPDA offices at Plot 37 Nakasero Road UEDCL Tower 5th floor. Where the directors of the companies or individuals do not appear for the hearing, the Authority will proceed to determine the matters in their absence,” reads, in part, the notice.
The companies summoned include Power and Water Products Limited, Awico Engineering Company Limited, Elgon Interiors and Company Limited, Universal for General Construction and Trading Company Limited, Ox Foundation Limited, Ildo Holding Limited, Ambrose Construction Company Limited, Millennium Agencies Limited and Fountain Technologies Limited.
Others are Power and Communication System Limited, Amach Producers and Marketing Cooperative Society, Jamara Company Limited, Restore Green Cover Uganda Limited, Batania Investment Limited abd Isolux Ingenieria S. A.
The notice further reads: “Please note that failure by the directors of the above companies to come for the hearing will leave the Authority with no option but to proceed with the hearing and suspension proceedings without their defence.”
The PPDA director in charge of legal and investigations, Mr Uthaman Segawa, yesterday described the firms as part of the list of suspended service providers who failed to appear before the Commission basing on written summons.
“We tried to contact these firms in writing but they failed to appear before the Authority. That is why we decided to advertise the list,” he said, adding that after hearing and submission of their defence, the PPDA board will make a final decision.
According to Mr Segawa, the listed firms are being investigated over alleged forgery of documents including tax clearance, completion certificates and certificate of registration.
Mr Segawa said other firms have been recommended for suspension due to failure to complete contracts awarded by government entities.
In December last year, PPDA acting director performance monitoring, Mr Aloysius Byaruhanga, revealed that more than 80 companies were suspended from engaging in procurement over allegations that they misrepresented facts in order to influence procurement.
Mr Byaruhanga said the PPDA investigations indicate that the firms forged experience and extra work, which are not justified and also inflated prices to win tenders contrary to the stipulated guidelines and regulations of the PPDA Act.
“PPDA suspended these companies for forging tax clearance, tampering with bid documents and misrepresentation of facts in order to influence procurement. Fraudulent practices remain a big challenge but with amendment of the PPDA Act, it will help address some of these challenges,” said Mr Byaruhanga while presenting a paper on audit and investigations issues at the fifth procurement Baraza for Mbale District local government.
“The Authority suspended the firms over forgeries. More than 80 companies were engaging in unacceptable practices through the bidding process,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
He also cited conflict of interest, fictitious invoicing, and bribery, usurping the roles of procurement and disposal unit and irregularities during the bidding process such as use of wrong procurement methods and use of pre-determined providers, as well as unfair conduct of evaluation.
PPDA, the principal regulator of public procurement, instituted the investigations in accordance with Regulation 14 (1) (b) of the PPDA Regulations, 2014 and Regulation 60(7) (b) of Local Governments (PPDA) Regulations, 2006.