Procurement Ethics the only hope for local PDES
Amid the unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases across the country there is much-need for re stabilization of the economy which might come at an exorbitant price. Especially for the local Procuring and disposing Entities, but this could also be a turning point for procurement in Uganda by promoting local content.
Every sector of the economy has been affected by Covid-19 and those with evil eye see this as an opportunity for graft.
One finds Substandard supplies, grossly overpriced equipment, lucrative contracts awarded to companies with little or no expertise these are just a few of the disturbingly commonplace things we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Normally, an estimated 5% to 25% of a public contract’s value is lost to corruption every year.
But these are not normal times. So it is a good bet that we will eventually discover this figure was much higher during the coronavirus pandemic, as the perfect storm of urgent need, supply shortages, and overwhelmed health systems and governments provides a wealth of opportunities for corruption.
How This happens and risk attached?
Government has responded to the emergency by loosening their procurement checks and balances. Many have invoked emergency legislation, scrapping the need to open tenders to competitive bidding instead choosing one supplier in what is known as a “direct award.”
For instance, in the Uganda procuring entities can bypass the normal requirement to publicize a tender openly and directly negotiate with suppliers when purchasing coronavirus-related equipment.
The choice is ultimately made by a small group of people, eliminating robust scrutiny and cost, quantity, and capability comparisons.
Unmet demand from public has also seen governments award contracts to suppliers they have never dealt with before or companies that have no track record of supplying or doing works.
How procurement Ethics saves
Understanding ethics and exercising good ethical behaviour are vitally important areas within procurement and supply, and the procurement professionals should always disclose any potential conflict of interest and follow the advice given from a person in authority and PDES should follow the code of conduct provided by the PPDA. Even when most of this article is directed towards the procurement officers a reader should understand the code of conduct of this profession
This article briefly explains the behaviors procurement professionals have to commit to and maintain.
1.Enhancing and protecting the standing of the profession
* Never engaging in conduct, either professional or personal, which would bring the profession.
*Not accepting inducements or gifts (other than any declared gifts of nominal value which have been sanctioned by your employer).
*Not allowing offers of hospitality or those with vested interests to influence, or be perceived to influence, your business decisions.
Being aware that your behavior outside your professional life may have an effect on how you are perceived as a professional
2.Upholding the highest standard of integrity in all business relationships
Integrity is about being honest and ethical, and working to or portraying conduct which reflects strong moral values. This part of the professional code of conduct outlines why any procurement officer should maintain a high standard of integrity within business relationships, and includes the following principles:
*Rejecting any business practice which might reasonably be deemed improper.
*Never use your authority or position for your own financial gain.
*Declaring to your line manager any personal interest that might affect, or be seen by others to affect, your impartiality in decision making.
*Ensuring that the information you give in the course of your work is accurate and not misleading.
*Never breaching the confidentiality of information you receive in a professional capacity.
*Striving for genuine, fair and transparent competition.
*Being truthful about your skills, experience and qualification
3.Promoting the eradication of unethical business relationships
Ethical behaviour is very important within procurement, procurement professionals can help eradicate unethical behaviour through not creating or maintaining a relationship with businesses that do not promote good ethics Such eradication of unethical business practices is done by the following practices:
*Fostering awareness of human rights, fraud and corruption issues in all your business relationships.
*Responsibly managing any business relationships where unethical practices may come to light, and taking appropriate action to report and remedy them.
*Undertaking due diligence on appropriate supplier relationships in relation to forced labour (modern slavery) and other human rights abuses, fraud and corruption.
*Continually developing your knowledge of forced labour (modern slavery), human rights, fraud and corruption issues, and applying this in your professional life.
Fueling the proficiency and stature of the profession
The code of conduct in this section asks members to bring skills, competences and a good reputation to the procurement industry. In addition, procurement officers are expected to keep their CPD up to date and undertake a certain amount of training, reading or knowledge gathering each year. In doing so, procurement professionals can apply their knowledge within their employment and help to develop both themselves and colleagues
This can be achieved by:
*Continually developing and applying knowledge to increase your personal skills, and those of the organisation you work for.
*Fostering the highest standards of professional competence amongst those for whom you are responsible.
*Optimising the responsible use of resources which you have influence over for the benefit of your organisation.
4.Ensure full compliance with laws and regulations
Adhering to the laws of the countries in which the procurement professionals practice. Such as PPDA act
Fulfilling agreed contractual obligations.