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Gowns Saga:  Makerere Has Five Days to Respond

Following reports that Makerere university breached procurement rules by hiring a foreign firm to supply graduation gowns contrary to the reservation guidelines set by government to promote local content, the University has been given up to January 23 to avail the Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority with their procurement documents to enable them determine whether the procurement breached the law or not.

According to Sylvia Kirabo the PPDA spokesperson, it is after analyzing those documents that the authority will determine what punishment the University will be given in case they are found guilty.

“We sent them a letter instructing them to avail us with all the procurement documents with in two weeks to enable us carry out an audit and we expect them to have complied by January 23. The documents will be audited and if they are found to have breached the law PPDA will recommend the punishment to be given,” she said.

She says this will act as a punitive measure to deter other government institutions not to fall victims of breaching the reservation guidelines.

“The Authority in pursuit of the government policy of “Buy Uganda Build Uganda” issued guidelines on reservation schemes to promote local content in public procurement and therefore all public institutions must  follow these guide lines,” Kirabo added.

She also called upon all the providers to report any breach of the Guidelines to the authority

The revised Guideline dated 15th February 2018 provided for exclusive reservation of contracts by threshold for both national and resident providers for: Road works costing UGX 45 Billion and below and other public sector works below UGX 10 Billion, consultancy services that cost is UGX 1 Billion and below, supplies whose cost is UGX 1 Billion and below, mon-consultancy services whose cost is UGX 200 Million and below, reservation of at least 30 per cent of the value of works contracted to foreign companies through subcontracting of sub-works and supply of materials, equipment and services to local providers, supply of uniforms and related clothing materials, electrical cables and conductors and medicines and medical supplies to manufacturers with facilities in Uganda.

Government is also set to start the pilot for the E-Government Procurement on 31st March 2020 for the 10 entities. Roll out of central government entities to be undertaken on 30th September 2020 and local governments on 1st July 2021.

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The Authority is to conduct massive stakeholder training including providers on the system starting February 2020.

Kirabo said the implementation shall result into improved transparency, accountability and reduction in the lead time to process procurement and disposal contracts.

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