Stakeholders decry alleged corruption in public procurement

Hoima deputy RDC, Richard Tabaro speaking at the workshop at Hoima Resort Hotel on Friday.

Stakeholders in Bunyoro Sub-region have complained about the alleged corruption in procuring public assets and awarding contracts in Uganda.

Speaking during a sensitisation workshop on the role of the PPDA Appeals Tribunal in administrative review process on Friday, the Masindi district LC 5 chairman, Cosmas Byaruhanga said there was a high level of corruption in awarding contracts for public bids as well as in procuring public assets.

He said graft had enormously resulted in crippling service delivery to the community.

The chairman’s comment followed the PPDA Appeals Tribunal’s presentation on public procurement guidelines and procedures that stakeholders have to follow in executing their distinct roles within their mandate.

“Corrupt officials already know all the guidelines, processes and procedures that the PPDA Appeals Tribunal is teaching us. These will not fail them any step to indulge in corruption”.

“Even when they are preparing the bid documents, before they are approved, they know where they are putting marks, discussing with people the way they have to fill the forms, where to put the money and the contractors to be hired. At the end of the day, shoddy work is produced,” he said.

In the same workshop at Hoima Resort Hotel, Ayub Sunday, a building and civil engineering contractor from Hoima said high level corruption was most evident in awarding contracts for procuring public assets.

Sunday faulted central government officials purporting that they influence local government stakeholders in the procurement process by awarding contracts to bidders from other districts “yet local contractors have the capacity to do the same job even better and at a low price because they know their local areas better.”

The Kakumiro LC 5 chairman, Joseph Sentayi Senkusu said there were some civil servants coddling corruption in broad day light. He said he at one time saw a procurement officer act weirdly while handling contract forms. “

“I at one time saw a procurement officer getting contract forms, putting them in his vehicle and drove home. He said that he was going to verify the forms from his home. How could a public officer do that?” he asked.

In response, David Kabateraine, a member on the PPDA Appeals Tribunal discouraged the public from concealing any information about procurement crimes. He encouraged people to report any offences in public procurement processes so that the culprits can be brought to book.

“How can someone conceal information regarding illegal practices in procurement of public assets? Why should someone keep quiet as the vice continues? The PPDA Appeals Tribunal was established as an entity to fight corruption in procurement and disposal of public assets without any interference”, he said.

The workshop drew participants from among other districts in Bunyoro as the host Hoima. Masindi, Buliisa, Kikuube and Kakumiro.

These included LC 5 chairpersons, Resident District Commissioners, Chief Administrative Officers, Procurement and Accounting Officers, members of Contracts and Evaluation Committees and bidders.

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