By Patrick Ocaido
Government is considering to amend the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act.
According to David Bahati, Minister of State for Planning, the proposed amendment is meant to reduce the number of impediments that have been affecting service delivery and implementation of government projects.
Bahati was speaking at the Public Policy dialogue on Uganda National Debt and Balance of Payment Deficit at Uganda Management Institute (UMI) on Wednesday.
One of the proposal is to cap the procurement period from the current 170 days to 90 days, to reduce the levels of administrative reviews from 4 to 2 and also to provide for E-procurement.
“The proposed amendment will be coming to cabinet in a month’s time and subsequently to parliament. We hope that by the end of September we would have finished the amendments,” Bahati said during an interview.
During the dialogue meeting, Bahati observed how a lot of time is being wasted in these administrative reviews, court processes, thus becoming a hindrance to their ‘kisanja hakuna mchezo and 2040 Vision.’
“You can imagine a president is elected in February but is sworn in in May because the law says all the complainants that may arise should be handled within three months. Now if such an important issue is handled within three months, then why should purchase of a rim of papers take ages?” He asked.
“So we want to sort out this issue. If you have an issue with procurement, go to court and it should be sorted within 3 months. Can you imagine someone calls from Kabermaido deep in the village, to file a complainant against Karuma Dam and it took us a whopping 2 and a half years to procure Karuma Dam.”
During the same dialogue, Dr. Asuman Guloba, Head of Policy Research and Innovation, National Planning Authority (NPA) observed that trade deficits is persistent in Uganda because the country exports have no value addition and local industries are not competitive.
“To sort this, we need to improve productivity by providing cheap labour, cheap electricity and good roads to our local industries so that they can compete,” Dr. Guloba said.