The Minister of State for Finance Gabriel Ajedra has called on the new members of Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Tribunal to ensure transparency and accountability in the execution of their work.
Ajedra, who represented the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, was presiding over the handover from the old tribunal to the new one at an event that took place at the Ministry of Finance in Kampala on Thursday.
“In performance of your duties, I implore you to take into consideration the core values of integrity, accountability, transparency, equity and fairness, efficiency, teamwork and timeliness,” said Ajedra.
Kasaija, on June 15, 2020, appointed the new chairperson and three members of PPDA Tribunal who later took oath of office on July 27, 2020 in an event presided over by the Principal Judge Flavian Nzeija.
The new Tribunal chairperson is former Uganda Law Society President Francis Gimara and the three members include Nelson Nerima, Geoffrey Nuwagira and Paul Kalumba.
The outgoing chairperson is Olive Zaale Otege and the three members include Moses Jarua Adriko, David Kabateraine and Abraham Nkata.
The new Tribunal chairperson Francis Gimara vowed to do an excellent job based on the foundation laid by his predecessor.
“The outgoing board has given us a very solid foundation to stand on. The outgoing tribunal has ensured that there is no case backlog. That means that they have attended to matters expeditiously. That is a positive attribute which we will as well take in implementation of our duties,” said Gimara.
“Honourable Minister, on July 27, we took our oath before the Principal Judge and we promised that we will do this job while respecting rules and appropriate laws. The values of the Tribunal are the values that many of us appreciate. Values of integrity, professionalism, transparency and accountability,” he added.
“These are things that Ugandans want to see in institutions. These are values that must be brought to bear resolution of disputes. I want to call upon the public to hold us accountable to the values that have been published,” Gimara further pledged.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) Act 2003 was amended in 2011 to bring about major reforms in the law, one of which is the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority Appeals Tribunal.
The Tribunal was set up in 2014 under section 91B of the Act.
The outgoing chairperson of the Tribunal Ms Olive Zaale Otege highlighted some of the achievements of the Tribunal.
“Being pioneer members, our key task was to put in place foundational structures for the proper functioning of this institution. So we put in place the human resource policy, procedurally regulations to guide proceedings before the Tribunal, and we have a corporate plan 2017 to 2022 to guide the proper development of the Tribunal. We were loyal to the judicial oath that we took in 2014,” she said.
Ms Otege added that they served all people equally without fear or favor.
“The parties that come before the Tribunal are not small businessmen. Their contracts are in billions of shillings, millions of Euros and dollars but we chose to serve without favor, we did not care which entity was appearing, which procurement was issued or which accounting officer was involved. We were only guided by the facts in the disputes and that is what we used to make a decision,” said Otege.
The outgoing Board handled 113 applications filed by bidders who were unsatisfied with the decisions of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and PPRA also filed 12 cases making summing to 125 cases handled by the Board.
The Minister congratulated the outgoing Tribunal for ensuring that its mandate is executed and successfully done.
The Tribunal’s core function is to hear and determine applications for review of the decisions of PPDA and determine matters referred to it by PPDA.