The newly-confirmed Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) executive director has highlighted fighting corruption in the procurement system as top priority.”
Mr Benson Turamye was confirmed as the substantive executive director on Monday after serving 26 months in acting capacity.
Mr Turamye said he will ensure that the procurement process is faster and more efficient so that service delivery is improved.
“You see this procurement is a means to service delivery. We cannot continue to waste time on procurement when services are supposed to be delivered at specific times. If we are going to spend a year, then that service is no longer required so my first focus is to ensure efficiency. We are going to fight the bottlenecks that are hindering delivery of services,” he said.
He said the automated procurement system will be piloted and later on rolled out to all government ministries and government departments to ensure that there is minimal interface between the bidders and the contracts evaluation committee members. This, he said, will help deal with influence peddling and corruption.
“...You know if you are heading procurement unit and you are not ensuring that these services are delivered in time, you are just sabotaging government programmes,” he added.
Mr Turamye said the focus for the start will be on high- spending entities, which he said will be closely watched to ensure that they conform to the set standards.
“You cannot do this monitoring for all areas. We shall identify high-spending entities and ensure that they do not abuse the procurement processes then the rest will fall in line,” he said.
Without naming the specific agency, Mr Turamye said he recently encountered a situation where the procurement process took a total of 344 days to complete, which was way above the maximum current 180 days allowed.
“We shall make sure we cut this down to 110 days with the automation of the system. This will help us deliver quality service in time.”
He implored the President to embrace the new procurement system to ensure that all the government agencies take up the procurement to save time and resources.
“This will increase competition, it is going to increase transparency, it will cut down transactional costs in government and will add value and efficiency in service delivery,” he said.