14 August 2014

Kenya: Govt Agencies Asked to Implement E-Procurement System By December

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said all government agencies including public universities and State-owned companies have until December to implement the just launched e-procurement system, which is set to promote transparency and accountability of public funds.

The president said this during the launch of the electronic procurement and payment system in government. He also pointed out that the manual automation of funds will be outlawed by January.

"Kenyans are working very hard, and as a government, we are responsible to ensure that the taxes they pay are spent in a prudent and responsible manner. The National Treasury is therefore responsible for spearheading the implementation of Public Financial Management Reforms to improve the management of public financial resources in the national and county governments, improve access to financial data, ensure open and competitive procurement processes and deliver results," said His Excellency president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The shift from manual to e- procurement will enhance transparency and credibility in the management of public finances and tendering process through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). The system which enables monitoring of all transactions during the procurement process provides functionalities such as the approval hierarchy, which is an end to end process that facilitates the procurement process from planning to payment.

The e-procurement system was developed by Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) department of the National Treasury, automates the whole procurement process from requisition, tendering, awarding and payment. E-procurement will do away with middlemen who inflate the prices of goods and services.

The president also pointed out that it is not enough to automate procurement processes without streamlining the payment processes. In this regard, and in complying with the Public Financial Management Act (2012), the national government has established a Treasury Single Account (TSA), from which all payments shall be processed. The TSA will ensure payments to suppliers are expedited since the government will have greater visibility of its cash position.

Previously, Government entities have managed fragmented banking arrangements obscuring the government's visibility of real time resources that is useful for decision making. As a result, financial resources may lie idle for extended periods in numerous bank accounts held by spending units while the government continues to borrow to execute its budget.

Speaking during the same event, Henry Rotich Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury said, "All procuring units must ensure that their procurement plans are developed and approved in the system as this will be the basis for online requisitions. The users in the national and county governments must follow due processes in keying in their data and following through with the stipulated approval hierarchy process."

He also asked for collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning to ensure that IFMIS training is a prerequisite for all public servants.

The online system has the P2P Component which has equally automated the tendering process, introducing a portal for registration of suppliers, classification of the goods and services they offer, qualification of the suppliers, and incorporating the 30% procurement budget for women, youth and persons with disability. The system also has the iSupplier Portal which has been designed to facilitate efficient collaboration with suppliers by granting them access to view information about their orders and payments, such as open orders and invoice statuses, to submit address or contact changes, and to respond to tenders.

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