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Tenders and Credibility

by on Nov.30, 2018, under Governance, Observations

It is the duty of every decent company or entity in Uganda to deal with decent and credible people. It is also common sense – we all want our money to be spent in a good way where businesses thrive and taxes are paid.

Any company that wishes to do business with the Government, NGOs and top businesses in Uganda has to either go through a prequalification process or submit a bid in response to tendered Terms of Reference. This process is tedious for companies and tenderers because heaps of documentation will be produced and thereafter reviewed by various committees and boards.

Documents required for tendering process usually are: tax clearance certificate issued to the tenderer for that particular tender; company certificate of incorporation, audited accounts for one, two or three years, Company memorandum of incorporation and articles of association, company structure, CVs of all key staff, various certificates of competence and so on.

Some tenderers require several copies of the bid document and are very keen on disqualifying if a page is missing somewhere. The entire process requires very many man-hours, many kilograms of paper and not-so-environmentally-friendly printing ink. Three hours of inhaling laser printer fumes while printing hundreds of pages of bid documents can be catastrophic for someone’s health.

Public Procurement and Disposal Authority was created with a role to play, I believe. And they do their job diligently, I believe. Within their capacity, they have a website that lists over 15,000 evaluated companies in various sectors. That means that annually, over 15,000 companies submit exactly the same documents as required for tenders, to PPDA. All these documents are verified and accepted as true representation of the company situation by PPDA. PPDA issues every company with a certificate that confirms their credibility. So why are we duplicating this function?

In the business environment we all label as inefficient and lacking, we are prepared to spend hundreds of man-hours on browsing through tonnes of paper to verify what has already been verified by a government agency formed to do that exact job?

Isn’t this a little bit shallow? Can we have a wake-up call? Can we not simply allow PPDA to be the entity that will do their job and provide tenderers with bidder’s PPDA registration number as evidence that the bidder fully qualifies to bid for the job?

Cut the wasting of time and enable both government and private sector to be more efficient and productive, while keeping costs of printing and time to the minimum. Someone needs to dispose off all that paper waste once the best bidder is chosen. Let’s not be wasteful any more than absolutely necessary.

Empower PPDA to do their job for the benefit of all business in the country.


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