Government e-procurement system could delay

Wednesday May 22 2019

Streamline payment. The EGP system, will not

Streamline payment. The EGP system, will not only address the challenge of corruption but also streamline the payment process. FILE PHOTO  

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala. The online government procuring system is expected to be piloted next month but there is no law on which it will be operationalised.

Speaking on the sidelines of the bidders’ conference in Kampala, Mr Benson Turamye, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) executive director, said the system will go online without the law in place.

“The bill is going to be fast-tracked, we have already talked to the committee in charge, the finance committee of parliament,” he said, citing the budget as the cause of delay.
The electronic government procurement system, (EGP) is an initiative of PPDA and the World Bank, which seeks to eliminate manual procedures of procurement from government entities.

The project in its pilot stage is envisaged to cover 10 government agencies. However the law to operationalise it, which is highlighted under the PPDA amendments, is still under review at Parliament.
Mr Turamye said that even after the system goes online without a law operationalising it, there will be no consequence of legal action.

“When we switch on EGP, it will not be backed by the law, I hope it is not challenged, but even then, procurement processes start in August, when the money is released,” he said.
Mr Turamye also tasked the bidders to explain and desist from overcharging government contrary to the private sector.

However, Mr Nicholas Agaba, manager of Selective Investments, one of the bidders in government tenders, said a number of factors are considered before bidders come up with pricing.
Key among them, he said, is delayed payment, which usually go beyond three months.

Bidders, Mr Agaba said, factor in interest accrued on debt that they draw from banks or financiers to implement projects.
The EGP system, Mr Turamye said, will not only address the challenge of corruption in government procuring system but also streamline payment processes.

Complex contracts

PPDA also wants to introduce a provision catering for complex or high value contracts where either contract financing has been sought to ensure that contractors get value for money.

Government, through Ministry of Finance, one of the pilot agencies committed to enable and train bidders adapt to the new technology based procurement system. Once EGP is fully implemented, PPDA says no government procurement will be done manually.

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