Government is committed to ensuring that the Institute of Procurement Professionals of Uganda (IPPU) is recognised under the law as the prefect of the professional members of the fraternity.
If the President’s assurance materialises, the IPPU will become a professional organisation responsible for licensing, monitoring and regulating the practice of the procurement practitioners in the country.
Given the relevance of the profession government is committed and determined to strengthen public sector procurement in a manner that will boost social and economic wellbeing of the nation.
Delivering President Yoweri Museveni’s speech last week at the 6th Annual Dinner for the Institute of procurement professionals of Uganda in Kampala, Finance minister Matia Kasaija said the PPDA law which is up for amendment, has proven to be an impediment.
He said: “... the procurement system has not always functioned as required, in some cases it has been an impediment to the attainment of our objectives.”
He added: “In order to attain the goal of transforming Uganda’s society to a middle income status by 2020, Cabinet made a decision in 2016 to amend all legal frameworks that hinder service delivery and that includes the amendment of the PPDA Act 2003.”
According to the President’s speech, the law is before Cabinet, and he is personally committed to ensuring that it is passed in the first quarter of next year.
Commenting about the theme of this year’s dinner which reads: Supply chain innovation and sustainability, he said, it’s befitting and rhymes well with the government focus of and better service delivery, urging the ministries, departments and agencies to buy into it.
Government fiscal policy is mainly translated into procurement of goods and services. It is estimated that about 55-60 per cent of Uganda’s national budget is channelled through procurement.
This year alone, at least Shs15-16 trillion worth of procurement transaction will pass through the procurement departments of several government ministries, departments and agencies.
Given such big responsibility, Mr Museveni said the procurement professionals have a duty to help the governments attain its targets and within the set time and at the right cost, let alone the right quality.
In his remarks, the chairman of the council, Mr Levi Kabagambe Bategeka, said: “Without the law, IPPU is unable to enforce discipline among procurement professionals as is the case with lawyers, accountants, engineers and doctors.”
He continued: “We appeal to government to expedite the passing of the law to regulate procurement practice in Uganda.”
The changes: Prior to the 1964, procurement was centralised and carried out by Crown Agents, a UK firm on behalf of government because Ugandans did not have the capacity to manage procurement.
However, an attempt to nationalise the procurement function was made in 1977 through the Central Tender board regulations.
Government commenced to widely exploit procurement reforms in 1999 with a view to make procurement efficient and deliver value for money. This culminated in a decentralised procurement system through the 2000 procurement regulations.