Lack of clear policies is hindering the use of e-procurement in Uganda, a procurement expert has said.
Paddy Wanzala, a procurement consultant, noted that with the world now going digital, e-procurement would ease procurement and cut down corruption.
"E-procurement is time and cost saving, easy to keep track of and to manage," said Wanzala at a workshop for procurement professionals at the Grand Imperial Hotel recently.
He noted that it is a challenge to build and sustain relationships with entities which are not prepared to go online and small businesses not enabled for e-procurement.
Wanzala said for e-procurement to be a success, there is need to establish clear policies for implementation of the practice.
"E-procurement system must be an integral part of any entity supply chain and corporate strategy to enable it to sustain its competitive advantage," he noted.
Wanzala pointed out that since most products in Uganda are imported, international procurement is part and parcel of the industry, yet many professionals have not yet grasped how it operates.
He added that lack of domestic manufacturers for certain materials, incapability to meet required delivery times and lack of quality goods makes international procurement a necessity.
"Entities are also forced to source internationally because the products supplied by domestic suppliers may be too expensive," Wanzala noted.
Steven Ariko, a procurement officer, pointed out that implementation of e-procurement requires a budget, which many entities do not have.
"Our policies are still conservative that even if you could be able to save money through an innovation like e-procurement, one is still required to follow the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) law to the dot," he noted.
Hudson Mutayoba, a procurement practitioner, said because Uganda is land locked, international procurement is expensive. It requires stable infrastructure, transportation and delivery of goods, which are all costly.