Compliance And Performance Indicators For The Procurement System

(What the public needs to know)

The effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of procurements is an important objective to be looked at by the government of Uganda, Development partners and the public. Under the auspices of the joint world bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Procurement Round Table initiative, developing countries and bilateral and multilateral donors worked together to develop a set of tools and standards that provide guidance for improvements in procurement systems and the results they produce. The Round Table Initiative led to a commitment for the adoption and further development of the methodology for application of the baseline indicators (BLIs) and associated compliance and performance indicators (CPIs).

The methodology for assessment of the national procurement system is intended to provide a common tool for evaluating quality and effectiveness. The BLIs deal with the formal and functional features of the existing system whereas the CPIs deal with how the system actually operates. The CPIs help identify those areas where compliance or performance is weak with a more in-depth review of the deficiencies and their likely causes. Assessment using CPIs can be done through one of the following ways depending on the data available to the authority; (a) Percentage of procurements subject to the legislative framework being assessed (in volume and number of contracts) carried out through open tendering, (b) percentage of (administrative review) cases resolved within the terms established in the legal framework and number of procurement audit recommendations pending after one year among other indicators.

It’s important to note however that the insights and lessons drawn from the exercise of assessment of the national procurement system are less likely to impact the public as the process is affected by several limitations and constraints which among them may include; insufficient data to give a meaningful basis to any conclusion since many entities fail to provide the minimum number of the targeted forty (40) procurement files and some of the files lack the required data and information, there is also a lot to be said about the dissemination procedure of the conclusions to the public bearing in mind that it is also true the public is reluctant to demand for accountability of any sort regarding the outcomes of the exercise.

In order to nurture radical transparency with in the procurement system of Uganda, a functional pipeline for free information flow about its operations and services has to be put in place.