EAST African Community (EAC) partner states are fast embracing online government procurement systems in a bid to increase efficiency and promote transparency.
As it stands, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have already started adopting the new eprocurement system which is designed to empower public bodies to better manage public procurement.
Speaking here at the weekend, Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Chief Executive Officer Engineer Leonard Kapongo, said East African countries were increasingly adopting the new timeeffective system, which reduces unnecessary bureaucracies that marred public procurement processes.
"Lack of transparency breeds corruption, unfairness, and lack of competition and ultimately the government does not achieve value for money as a result of paying more for a service that could be delivered at a cheaper price," observed Engineer Kapongo while addressing participants in the 12th East African Public Procurement Forum.
The PPRA chief emphasized that no public institutions and agencies in East Africa should be left behind in the new initiative which also aims to introduce increased efficiency, confidence in the procurement system and value for money.
"Our partner states are fast adopting the new system to increase efficiency and transparency," he revealed.
According to Eng Kapongo, the new system will promote efficiency, transparency and minimize potential collusion among bidders in public procurement as the web-based system supports full public procurement lifecycle by replacing the current manual process of procurement used within public institutions such as ministries, departments, agencies and local governments.
In Tanzania, at least 426 out of 500 public institutions and agencies have already embraced the Tanzania National e-Procurement System (TANeps) a new secure, interactive, dynamic environment for carrying out procurement of all categories, complexity or value.
The country's procurement regulator has already registered 13,000 tenders worth 11.7tn/- with the December 31 fast approaching.
The new directive by the government requires public institutions and agencies to implement the new system as it promotes transparency and reduces bureaucracy in procurement processes.
In 2018, Rwanda became the first African country with an electronic procurement system.
After passing a new procurement law in 2007, and later establishing the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, the East African nation began looking at relevant experiences on how to modernise its procurement system.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has been earmarked to host the 13th East African Public Procurement Forum to be held in Kigali.