Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija has lashed out at government entities, saying their culture of slow procurement processes means the country is losing billions of shillings.
Kasaija, who spoke at the 2019 public procurement sector performance review conference in Kampala on Thursday, said at times government signs for loans for projects before the procurement process, money lies idle on the account for years as government agencies move back of forth trying to finish the process to award the contract.
The lender, sometimes charge government for delay to use the money but also project costs increase when it drags on. Government hopes that the amendment of the current public procurement law will end the delays.
Benson Turamye, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) executive director, said an audit found that half of government procurement contracts failed to meet planned timelines.
He said delays was a big concern with public agencies taking up to 200 days to finish the procurement process for a particular contract – from bid advertisement to contract awarding.
Standard timelines should be 100 days for local contract and 110 days for international contract. He said there inefficiencies in most government agencies.
Also, a lot of the delays come when bidding parties are not satisfied and they have to go to court to challenge the process. This usually takes a couple of years, delaying the project for long.
Turamye said unsatisfied bidders now have levels where they can go for redress, including the accounting officer of the procuring entity and this has ten days to sort the issue.
If it fails here, the bidder can go to PPDA itself. It has 21 days to address their issue. If they fail or they aren’t satisfied, they can appeal to the procurement appeals tribunal.