The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), is the regulatory body for public procurement and disposal in Uganda. It was established through the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act No.1 of 2003. PPDA is a new procurement authority in Uganda that is meant to streamline the means of handling public business.
The following are its functions;
1) An advisory function which entails issuing the various tools for conducting public procurement and disposal and compliance with the law.
2) A data management function which entails developing a system of managing data on all public procurement and disposal
3) A capacity building function which entails developing procurement and disposal capacity through training and line support
4) An audit function which entails auditing the bid preparation process and the award and completion of contract.
The procurement and disposal system still poses significant challenges to the procurement sector. To this though, the PPDA is taking a number of steps to address the anomaly. Dora Egunyu, the PPDA public relations officer says â€œProcurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act No.1 of 2003 is in the process of being amended, the Institute of Procurement Professionals Uganda has been established to regulate the practice and conduct of procurement practitioners.â€
More to that Dora continued â€œUniversity and Tertiary Institutions Regulation â€“ 2008 were issued in September. This will ensure that the quality of procurement education and training in Uganda meets both national and international expectations of the work place.â€
She adds that â€œall public entities are now required by law to have a procurement plan when submitting their budgets to finance.â€
In a report of the PPDA presenting the key findings and recommendations of a Compliance Check exercise between May and August 2008, a lot of loop holes were found in the process of executing public business both in the Central Government and Local Government Entities. From procurement structures, planning, solicitation and bidding procedures to evaluation procedures, contract award and management and record keeping, all is flawed in one way or another.
The main objective of the exercise was to assess the compliance levels of 120 Public Disposable Entities (PDE) as a national representative sample of all the procuring and disposing entities now slightly over 200 in number in the country.
The procurement processes are the areas where over 70% of government resources are spent and yet this is also the area that is most prone to corrupt tendencies.Â But with the interventions put in place by the PPDA, this could change. If procurement corruption can be addressed then public service delivery could also fundamentally improve because the 70% of national resources would translate directly into service delivery.