“Delays In Procurement Affects Budget Absorption”-CoST Uganda Report

CoST Uganda officials inspect some infrastructure projects in town photo/CoST Uganda

BY PATRICK JARAMOGI

KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Delays in procurement negatively affect government reputation, budget absorption, and undermine service delivery, a new report conducted by CoST Uganda Chapter has indicated.

Titled “Promoting Fair Business Practices between Government and the Private Sector in Uganda,” CoST Uganda analyzed existing government procurement portal (GPP) data for a number of objectives.

Releasing the findings during a Media Interface with leading journalists in Uganda held at Protea Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday, Michael Cengkuru the CoST Uganda Chapter Open Data Specialist said the private sector, delays in procurement directly increase operating costs through interest payments on bid securities and performance bonds, which must be extended whenever a contract is not concluded in time. “We observed that there are no fair business practices between Government and providers in the private sector,” said Michael Cengkuru the CoST Uganda Open Data Specialist.

CoST Uganda urged government in the report to provide a baseline for engagement between Government and the Private Sector.

The data arose out of the assessment conducted on 19 Government entities including 10 Local Government of

Adjumani, Arua, Gulu, Hoima, Kabale, and Wakiso Local Governments. Others were Kyenjojo, Masindi, Mbale, and Mbarara, while the ministries included those of Education and Sports, Energy and Mineral Development, Health, Water and Environment, and Works and Transport.

Also analysed were government entities such as National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

Micheal told the journalists who attended a one-day media training on reporting on Infrastructure development in Uganda that most projects analysed had time and cost overruns.

“There is a need to observe proactive disclosure, time overruns, cost overruns, tender management, as well as

transparency in procurement and project implementation,” said Michael. He noted that in the private sector, delays in procurement directly increase operating costs through interest payments on bid securities and performance bonds, which must be extended whenever a contract is not concluded in time.

CoST in its report  (https://www.cost.or.ug/download/promoting-fair-business-practices-through-open-data-report/) also urged PPDA to expedite the implementation of the Electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system to enhance the quality and integrity.

Edwin Muhumuza (below), the Director Corporate Affairs, Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) said the Electronic Government Procurement will soon be in place and once in place, all anomalies to do with procurement processes will be history.

Edwin Muhumuza

Journalists Get Tips On Infrastructure Reporting

The journalist drawn from various media houses were also given tips on investigating and reporting on infrastructure projects. Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, a renowned investigative journalist, and editor with NTV Uganda, along with Alex B. Atuhairwe, the Editorial Director with PML Daily, an online news website gave journalists tips on gathering facts, writing investigations, quality control, techniques, ethics and tweaking stories to fair business practices in public infrastructure procurement.

Recommendations by CoST

  • PPDA should develop and implement a data management policy to coordinate, facilitate and monitor data capture, analyze, store and archive, and share data and information across authorized
  • Regarding procurement delays, the PPDA should cap procurement time and provide for penalties for procurement
  • The role of PPDA in the planning of procurement should be reviewed and strengthened to include the assessment of the adequacy of budget lines to meet the planned activities, as well as the monitoring of plans to ensure effective delivery of
  • The private sector should take steps to ensure that the project cost estimates they submit in their bidding are feasible.
  • Government should reinforce Project Management Units (PMUs) in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to develop project costs and ensure executive approval before
  • PPDA should work towards reducing procurement transaction costs to boost private sector participation in public
  • PPDA should initiate sector-wide dissemination of project information, implementation status, expected outputs, funding details and
  • PPDA should initiate sector-wide dissemination of project information, implementation status, expected outputs, funding details and
  • PPDA should strengthen local content monitoring
  • The CoST Uganda MSG should commission a study to identify factors that prevent the private sector from participating fully in public.

 

Shift Media News

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