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27 September 2012 | Anna Reynolds
The Ugandan prime minister has called for a more efficient procurement system to deliver greater savings across the public sector.
At a symposium last week held by the Public Procurement Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) in Kampala, prime minister Amama Mbabzi pointed to the education sector and said by saving 2 per cent through procurement, teachers’ salaries could be increased by 15 per cent.
The event examined the impact of reforms that were introduced 10 years ago to improve efficiency and transparency in public procurement, which accounts for more than 55 per cent of the Ugandan government’s budget. The PPDA has been working with local and international partners to create value for money in a well-functioning procurement system over the past decade.
While progress has been made, the event highlighted how the volume, value and complexity of public procurement in Uganda has increased significantly, and the challenge now facing public servants is how to manage this increased capacity.
The event reviewed the impact of the reforms on service delivery in local government, the education sector, management of government contracts and legal proceedings, as well as the progress in combating corruption in public procurement.
An awards ceremony was also held to recognise the best-performing organisations. The overall winner for best-performing procuring and disposing body went to the National Water & Sewerage Corporation. The Nebbi District in north-west Uganda won the best-performing local government entity, with the Sironko District in the east of the country named as runner-up.
An action plan was drawn up detailing key steps that will further guide the public procurement agenda and the PPDA will continue to work with local governments and the Uganda Police to ensure proper procurement processes are upheld.
More than 200 participants from the public, private and civil sectors attended the event, which was part of the activities to celebrate Uganda’s 50th anniversary of independence.