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Supplier selection regulations and practices in Ugandan public procurement

Lohmann, Wouter (2010) Supplier selection regulations and practices in Ugandan public procurement.

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Abstract:A proper public procurement system may contribute to several development objectives and is therefore highly important to a developing country like Uganda. However, such a system is far from established, partly because public procurement regulations have changed a number of times since 1997, leaving public entities with little experience with the current procedures. On the other hand, corruption is still a major problem that undermines sound practices as well. A lot of improvements still have to be made in order to move towards the desired public procurement system. A vital step in this process is to establish an appropriate supplier selection system. This system is highly sensitive for corruption and its results have a big influence on purchasing costs. Therefore it’s no surprise that almost half of the regulations issued by the Ugandan Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) concern supplier selection. Compliance with these regulations is considered to be the key to success and is therefore closely monitored. However, compliance merely implies that regulations are followed; improvements will only result if the regulations prescribe sound procurement practices. Therefore, this research provides an objective analysis of supplier selection regulations in Ugandan public procurement. The methodology employed first identified the desired objectives of the public procurement system. Next, a literature review was used to find out how these objectives can be enforced. Then, the Ugandan supplier selection regulations were analyzed to see which of the possible enforcements are supported and which are not. In addition, data was collected at a procuring and disposing entity (PDE) in order to find out which opportunities provided by the regulations are actually used in practice. The five objectives that were identified for the public procurement system are fairness, transparency, accountability, competition and value for money. The extent to which these objectives are realized has been analyzed by comparing scientific literature to supplier selection regulations and practices in Uganda. The results show that the Ugandan public procurement system is accountable and fairly competitive, but neither transparent nor delivering value for money. Besides, the system is fair in some aspects, but unfair in other aspects. The comparisons further show that most characteristics that are embedded in the regulations are also observed at the ‘Office of the President’. However, in some cases there are differences between the presence of a characteristic in the regulations and its presence in practice. Both regulations that induce proper procurement practices and regulations that may potentially harm the objectives remain unused. Therefore, this research provides both recommendations regarding the regulations (aimed at the PPDA) and recommendations regarding supplier selection in practice (aimed at procuring and disposing entities). Finally, it’s important to realize that, while it’s possible to improve using only one of the recommendations, a disproportionately larger improvement may be expected when multiple recommendations are followed simultaneously; an effect of synergy. For example, little will be gained by prescribing proper methodologies if they remain unused or by choosing wisely from a set of inappropriate methodologies. On the other hand, when the regulations prescribe a high-quality set of methodologies and the PDE’s make a justified choice from this set for every procurement project, major improvements will follow. If the PPDA and (the majority of) the Ugandan PDE’s jointly strive for such improvements, Uganda will slowly move towards the desired public procurement system.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority, Kampala, Uganda
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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