THE value for money audit conducted by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) in the course of last year has found out that 63 construction contracts out of 137 (equivalent to 46 per cent) performed well (above 75%).
The PPRA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ramadhan Mlinga, said this in his New Year greetings' statement adding that the audit was conducted on 37 procuring entities (PEs) with a total value of 239.2trn/-.
He noted further that 67 contracts (equivalent to 49 per cent) performed fairly (between 50% and 75%), and seven contracts (equivalent to 5 per cent) performed poorly (below 50%).
"The audit revealed major weakness in contracts administration and quality of works particularly in LGAs (Local Government Authorities) caused largely by lack of knowledge in design, lack of quality control tools and equipment, lack of qualified staff and inadequate working tools such as vehicles," reads the statement in part.
He added that procurement audit carried out by PPRA in financial year 2011/2012 indicates that PEs are increasingly complying with the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
"Generally, the outcome of audit of procurements worth 2.3trn/- in 121 PEs indicated an average level of compliance of 74 per cent compared to 68 per cent achieved in the financial year 2010/2011 computed from thirteen established compliance indicators," reads another part.
He added that the average level of compliances from MDAs, PAs and LGAs was 77 per cent, 76 per cent and 67 per cent respectively indicating serious non-compliance in LGAs as the level of compliance indicated here shows that they are below average.
"The same weaknesses observed in the previous year were also observed this year, namely; inappropriate establishment of procurement management units; inappropriate preparation of annual procurement plans, poor records keeping, weak contract management and failure to punish contract awards," elaborates another part.
He noted that through the information collected by the authority from PEs, public procurement has continued to demonstrate its importance in the implementation of government budget. "The information on procurement volume submitted by 319 out of 397 PEs indicated that 100,164 contracts amounting to 4.3m/- were awarded during the financial year 2011/12.
The values of the awarded contracts represent a considerable proportion of the total government budgets close to 13trn/- in the financial year 2011/12," reads another part.
Meanwhile, the statement noted that the PPRA has for the first time debarred 26 firms for failure to fulfil their contractual obligations with PEs, eight firms for procurement malpractices, and 358 following their debarment by World Bank and Public Procurement and Disposal Authority of Uganda for committing procurement malpractices.
He said that the move is aimed at ending the existing practice where suppliers or service providers fail to implement their contracts with one entity but tenders and ends up winning a contract in another entity.
"We call upon all PEs to furnish us with information on suppliers or service providers whose contracts have been terminated so that appropriate actions can be taken in accordance with the PPA and its regulations," reads another part.