The Administrative Review Process In PPDA

Administrative review provides a mechanism by which a person/organization can seek redress against a decision made by a government entity that affects them. It also provides a mechanism for rectification of decisions if they are wrong. Administrative review, over time results in better decisions when the outcome of the review process is referred back to the original decision maker. In procurement, it is initiated when a claim of dissatisfaction is made by a bidder regarding either a breach of procurement law or errant actions by the procuring entity.

Where a procurement requirement is subject to administrative review by a procuring and disposing entity or Authority a contract document, purchase order, letter of bid acceptance or other communication in any form conveying acceptance of a bid, that binds a procuring and disposing entity, shall not be issued prior to completion of the administrative review process.

In Uganda, the PPDA act emphasizes that bidder shall submit the application for an administrative review within ten working days after the date of display of the award on public notice. An application form containing details and evidence in support of the bidder is to be submitted in writing to an accounting officer accompanied by a payment of a prescribed fee in accordance with the guidelines issued by the authority.

Upon receipt of an application for administrative review, an accounting officer immediately suspends the procurement or disposal proceedings where a continuation of the proceedings might result in an incorrect contract award decision or a worsening of any damage already done.  The accounting officer then immediately after receipt of the application, invites a committee of three persons with the requisite technical expertise on the subject of the complaint, to review and advise on the complaints and the committee institutes an investigation to consider information and evidence from the applicant, contracts committee, staff of council, other bidders and any other relevant source. After the investigation, the committee of three submits its recommendations to the accounting officer.

Based on the report, the accounting officer is to advise the complainant in writing within fifteen working days after receipt of the applications. Findings in the recommendation must include but not limited to, whether there is merit in the complaint, reasons for the recommendation and any corrective measures to be taken. Thereafter the accounting officer submits a copy of the report to the authority.

A bidder may submit an application for administrative review to the Authority where the accounting officer does not issue a report within fifteen working days or the bidder is not satisfied with the decision of the accounting officer on the complaint. This application to the Authority for administrative review is to be submitted within ten working days after the date of the decision by an accounting officer or the date by which an accounting officer should have issued a decision. Contained in the application to the authority is (a) a copy of the original application to an accounting officer and the supporting documents; (b) a copy of relevant correspondence to and from an accounting officer; (c) a statement by the bidder that an accounting officer failed to issue a decision and the relevant rates where applicable (d) an explanation of why the bidder is not satisfied with the decision of the accounting officer, where applicable.

On receiving the application, the authority immediately gives notice to the accounting officer instructing the suspension any further action on the procurement or disposal requirement, where the Authority considers a suspension necessary; All bidders of the application are notified and invited to submit any relevant information prior to a given deadline and an investigation is instituted.

In investigating the application for administrative review, the authority considers information and evidence from; the applicants, contracts committee, staff of procuring and disposing entity, other bidders and any other relevant source.

The authority gives its verdict in writing within twenty-one working days after receipt of the application.  Bearing in mind that this is the final ruling, the decision of the authority will be indicating whether the application was upheld or rejected, reasons for its decision and any corrective measures to be taken.