The Role Of The Electronic Government Procurement System in Managing Procurement Irregularities in Uganda

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) rolled out an electronic government procurement process to ease the process which is abbreviated as eGP.

The Electronic Government Procurement (EGP) system is an updated real time internet based system for Procurement of goods, works and services using public fund. The EGP displays all information about suppliers, contracts and also interface with bidders, government entities, suppliers and PPDA itself.

This is an initiative by government in a bid to leverage ICT to promote efficiency in public procurement and upholding accountable governance. The processes to be covered by the new system include; User Register of all the users of e-Procurement System: bidders, suppliers, PDEs. Bidding system direct purchasing, e-Framework Agreements, e-Auction e-Quoting system, Electronic payments System, Contracts management system Procurement Plans, Disposal Plans, Bid Notices, Contract information, Best evaluated bidder information, list of registered Providers (Local and International) Suspended Bidders. The project is funded under the Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (RCIP) of the World Bank.

E Government Procurement (eGP) system is a web-based system that covers the full procurement lifecycle, all procurement modalities, and keeps a record and audit trail of all procurement activities. The purpose of this system is to maintain efficient, complete and up-to-date public procurement information for all public entities of Uganda.  It will also provide tender opportunities to all potential national and international bidders.

Electronic government procurement ensures transparency by allowing technology rather than people to do some of the processes, eliminating the interface between suppliers and Public Procurement and Disposal Entities (PDEs), which has been one of the commonest mediums that has allowed corruption to flourish.

An efficient eGovernment Procurement can save the country between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the entire size of the development budget. Different countries have reported substantial savings ranging from 5-30% of public expenditure in public procurement and therefore reduce the cost of procurement for both the government and service provider.

The general public will also be able to access all the planned procurement plans of each government department, successful bids, the cost of the bids, blacklisted bidders and the database of all registered service providers. This will reduce on the rampant delays in public procurement as the time between putting in the request for bids and actual awarding of the contract is expected to reduce.

The introduction of electronic government procurement, PPDA joins other government agencies such as URA, which adopted e-tax projects and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) that started the process of computerisation.

This will result into a shift from a cumbersome centralised procurement system to a decentralised and participatory procurement system at the PDEs.This is an initiative by government in a bid to leverage ICT to promote efficiency in public procurement and upholding government’s promise to the public on efficient and accountable governance.

As part of the reforms to make the public procurement system more efficient and accountable, the Public procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) is in final preparations to have public procurement go online through the roll out of the Electronic Government Procurement (eGP).EGP will comprise of all the modules/ stages in procurement and its Key benefits are: Efficiency, Transparency, and Accountability.

In conclusion therefore, it is important to note that Government of Uganda continues to undertake reforms for more effective public sector management and improved service delivery. Development and adoption of a nationwide e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system is one of the key public sector management reform initiatives of the government. The e-GP system is expected to improve transparency and efficiency of the procurement system, strengthen documentation and audit capabilities around the procurement function, improve budgetary tracking and absorption, and increase competition in procurement by making information more accessible.