To place a bid to provide items or services is hard. So hard that the average number of bids received for a government tender is three. This is according to Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA).
Even after the bids are placed, certain requirements ought to be fully accomplished to consider a candidate who will supply government.
In a notice, PPDA has included nine bidders who have been suspended mainly over forged documents.
“The Authority received recommendations from different entities under Local and Central Government to suspend different companies from participating in public procurement and disposal of public assets proceedings for submitting various forged documents under several tenders,” the notice reads in part.
It goes ahead to explain that the Authority investigated the matters and found that the firms breached the Code of Ethics of Providers.
Subsequently, in accordance with Section 8(1) (f) and 94 of the PPDA Act 2003, the Board of Directors considered the recommendations and resolved to suspend the providers.
Among the suspended in 2019 is Pasue Enterprises, whose proprietors, Mr Mukiibi Paul and
Susan Mutebi have been suspended for forging a bid security. The suspension is two years effective 5th February 2019.
OHKA Enterprises Limited, which failed to substantially perform its contract has been suspended for two years while Fountain Technologies limited has been suspended for four years over forgery of Certificate of Incorporation and awards.
Jomap Consult and Speed Construction Ltd have been suspended for forgery of Tax Clearance Certificate and forgery of bid securities for three and two years respectively.
A total of nine companies have been suspended between February and May mostly for forging tax clearance certificates and bid securities.
According to Ms Sylvia Kirabo, the list has been updated in 2019 but has existed for over three years.
However, the same breach of ethics has been recorded over the years.
“We get different bidders all the time. So while you suspend one over forgery, a different culprit comes with the same or different issue,” she says.
PPDA, she says, has taken steps to educate and facilitate a proper bidding environment to ensure bidders do not miss out on opportunities especially during stakeholder engagements.
But PPDA has still not got to the root cause of the forgeries as many bidders claim to have been duped saying they did not know they were fake.
“Some bidders are ignorant about some processes. So they pay middle men or brokers to get those documents but those people instead get forgeries,” she says adding that it has led to duping and lamenting of many bidders.
Mr Ian Rumanyika, manager public and corporate affairs at Uganda Revenue Authority, encourages bidders to use the online portal which has streamlined processes ensuring people access tax clearance certificates in only takes two days.
“Tax clearance certificates have been instrumental in finding compliant and non-compliant tax payers. A tax clearance certificate takes two days to process ensuring all information is in order,” he says.
A notification is given to the government institution for which a provider is bidding, indicating whether the applicant is tax compliant to curb forgeries in procurement processes.