The acting Executive Director Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Mr Uthman Segawa has faulted the process followed by Makerere University in procuring graduation gowns for its 70th graduation.
Makerere has lately been on the spot when it emerged that some of the gowns it sold out to graduates were imported from China.
The development flies in the face of government’s intensified import substitution efforts.
Mr Segawa told press that no government entity is allowed to make such kind of importation.
“Any supply that is below 1 billion should be to local providers. That is for National providers and resident providers. The gowns fall under this category,” said Segawa.
“For the issue of Makerere gowns, these gowns are below 1 billion shillings so they should have been awarded to a provider with manufacturing facilities in Uganda.”
Segawa says currently, there are three providers in Uganda dealing in manufacturing clothing materials and are specifically provided for under PPDA guideline dated 15th February 2018
These include Southern Range Nyanza in Jinja, Sigma neat and Fine Spinners.
Segawa said they have contacted Makerere University to provide them with the Procurement file for the gowns.
“We understand that this procurement was signed in 2017 February before our guideline.”
“The PPDA law allows that even if you have a contract, it can be amended. We anticipate that Makerere should have amended this contract to provide that the supplier who has contracted should have sourced the materials from Uganda,” he said.
“We are undertaking the contract audit to find out what went wrong in this particular Procurement. We join the graduands to say that that shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
Segawa on the other hand applauded Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), Uganda Police Force and Uganda Prison Services that have all the time bought uniforms from the above manufacturers, especially Fine Spinners.
He noted that for road works, they reserved works below 45 billion to local contractors while other public works such as construction they reserved all contracts below 10 billion.
He applauded Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for as well giving contracts to local contractors.
“We undertook a study last financial year and we noted that 28% of UNRA’s road work Procurements were awarded to local providers which is a big step. The other financial year it was only 24%.”
For services such as consultancy services, they reserve contracts below 1 billion to local contractors while non consultancy services they reserve contracts below 200 million to local providers.
To ensure Procurement of local products by Government entities, Segawa said that PPDA is introducing the Electronic Government Procurement (EGP) and will soon put Procurement processes online so that the providers are able to submit their bids online.