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Magufuli steps in to address loopholes in Procurement Act


Daily News

CHABY BARASA,  DECEMBER 31, 2015

In his inaugural address to the 11th Parliament in Dodoma in November this year, President John Magufuli, spoke against wasteful spending of public funds on procurement of luxury goods and called for immediate amendment of the procurement law to address its shortcomings. Our Staff writer CHABY BARASA reports.

TO prove that he is determined to walk the talk, President Magufuli has intensified the anti graft crusade and embarked on a series of austerity measures aimed at checking wasteful government spending.

Accounting for more than 70 percent of government expenditures, it is no wonder public procurement has been in the spotlight, which has seen the suspension of chief executive officers of RAHCO and DART as the institutions are being investigated on allegations of flouting the procurement law

The Managing Director of the Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO), Mr Bernhard Tito, has been suspended to pave the way for investigations into allegedly gross procurement flaws in awarding tender for building standard gauge railway line linking Dar es Salaam and Kigoma as well as neighbouring countries of Burundi and DR Congo.

The Executive Officer of Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART). project Ms Asteria Mlambo has also been suspended for similar procurement irregularities regarding the reported dubious process in awarding a tender to an interim service provider of the DART project.

During his inaugural speech, Dr Magufuli spoke at length how the public procurement law was being abused by unscrupulous suppliers who quote inflated and unrealistic prices of commodities, causing massive losses of public funds.

“Under the current law, a house that would normally cost 30m/- could end up being constructed for 200m/-,” he noted and stressed the need for value for money in implementation of public projects, saying that embezzlement of public funds and sub standard projects were among the concerns that the public needed immediate solutions for.

The President’s concerns have stirred to action the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania, which is now seeking recommendations from members of the public, government agencies, private entities and other stakeholders to facilitate the Commission’s research aimed at identifying the practical shortcomings in implementing the Public Procurement Act, 2011 and its regulations.

The research also seeks to identify repercussions on implementing the law to the government and its institutions.

“In order to facilitate the study and for the Commission to comply with the provisions of Section 10(1) (2) of the Law Reform Commission Act, Cap 171, the Commission calls for the public, government agencies and private entities involved to give suggestions, recommendations and opinions regarding the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Chapter 410 and the Public Procurement Regulations,” says the statement released by the Commission recently.

The comments and suggestions, as per the Commission’s statement, may be general or about specific provisions of the Act or institutional system created by the Public Procurement Act, Chapter 410, based on; market fundamentals and dynamics of law, procurement process and procedural and institutional requirements, value for money, conflicts of laws and human factors such as unethical conduct, personal interest and corrupt practice.

To accomplish the research on time, the Commission has set 30 days, starting 15th December, this year, within which to receive the recommendations, which have to be submitted to the Executive Secretary of the Commission.

Study on the law follows difficulties experienced by the government and its institutions during implementation of the law, both in terms of costs, value for money and management of timelines.

“Experience has shown that since 2001 when the Act was enacted for the first time, there have been difficulties in the implementation of the law so much that objectives for its enactment have not been achieved.

This phenomenon has persisted even when Parliament repealed and re-enacted the new Public Procurement Act in 2004. The procedural requirements before making the actual purchase are both cumbersome and costly,” the statement further notes.

The Commission’s move has been welcomed by scores of stakeholders interviewed, however, most of them are of the view that the problem is not with the law but rather with unethical conduct of some individuals and Procuring entities that deliberately bend rules for their selfish motives.

“Indeed continuous improvement of the law is crucial and that is why we had the 2001 Act replaced by the new Public Procurement Act in 2004,” says Mawazo Mosses, a procurement officer with a Dar es Salaam logistics firm.

According to Mawazo, the country may boast the best procurement law, but unless the society learns to truly abhor corruption and other unethical tendencies, such legislation may not help much.

However a retired public servant, said the Procurement law needed immediate amendment as it currently encourages what he termed as ‘ten percent syndrome’, which he says is to blame for the inflated prices of commodities quoted by suppliers.

He called for stakeholders to air their views so that all shortcomings of the current law could be addressed and called for authorities to especially investigate local government authorities where he claimed procurement irregularities are rife with most tenders being dished out without any proper procedures being adhered to.

“It’s free for all kind of thing,” he observed, but conceded that having the law in the first place, albeit its weaknesses, is better than not having one at all.

He called for the Law Reform Commission to work closely with the ministry of finance, which said had earlier embarked in the process of collecting stakeholders’ views to address shortcomings in the procurement law.

While there are misgivings about the procurement law from some quarters, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) stated recently that the overall compliance level of audited Procuring Entities (PE’s) in the country has increased from 65 percent last year to 69 percent this year.

However, the rise is still below the 75 percent target set for the Financial Year 2014/15. Procurement Audit Report based on procurement audits and verification audits of 80 PE’s, that included local government authorities, public authorities and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“The objective of the audits was to determine whether the procedures, processes and documentation for Procurement and contracting were in accordance with the provisions of Public Procurement Act , Public Procurement Regulations and the standard documents issued by PPRA.

“ In addition, the audits sought to determine whether contracts had been or were being implemented in accordance with stipulated contract terms and conditions and whether value for money was achieved in spending public funds in selected construction contracts,” revealed the PPRA Board Chairman, Ambassador, Matern Lumbanga While the overall compliance level of the audited institutions had increased, the average compliance level for MDAs had dropped from 71 pc to 69 pc compared to last year’s results.

On the other hand, public authorities and local government authorities have shown improvements from 68 pc and 62 pc recorded last year to 71 pc and 67 pc respectively this time around.

As per Report, while 27 out of 80 PE’s were assessed to have satisfactory compliance levels above the target of 75 pc, the remaining 53 entities’ performance was below the set compliance target.

On the other hand, the overall assessment of corruption red flags indicated that nine out of the 80 audited entities were assessed to have corruption red flags of 20 pc and above, giving an indication that there is corruption likelihood in the audited projects.

In the course of Procurement audits, the auditors also observed serious delays on contractors payments. Notable delays were observed in road works contracts under Tanroads and water projects under local government authorities.

The delayed payments were mainly due to delays on non disbursement of committed funds from Treasury.

In the wake of the audit findings, accounting officers and heads of the entities with poor performance had been directed to appear before the PPRA Board to show cause why disciplinary and legal action should not be recommended to the competent authority.

On the other hand, the audit reports for all procuring entities and specific projects with detected likelihood of corruption with scores of 20 pc or above are to be submitted to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), for further investigation.

Other directives require accounting officers of procuring entities where overpayments had been verified to have been made to contractors or suppliers; to recover the overpaid amounts while for ongoing projects, a report on the final account has to be submitted to the Authority for verification.

As the Law Reform Commission continues to receive recommendations from stakeholders, the expectation of many is that whatever loopholes in the current procurement law as directed by President Magufuli would finally be plugged.

Zambia: Prosecution witness in Masebo case says corruption should get a minister concerned


Sunday Post

By Namatama Mundia   |   Updated: Aug. 22, 2015

A PUBLIC procurement expert on Thursday testified in the Sylvia Masebo abuse of office trial that a government minister should get concerned when something goes wrong in a ministry.

Testifying before Lusaka magistrate Ireen Wishimanga, in a case where Masebo is facing allegations of cancelling wildlife hunting concessions and dissolution of ZAWA management whilst serving as tourism minister, Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health head of procurement, Kenneth Mapani also said the public procurement law does not say the minister had no role in procurement issues.

Mapani, who until March 30 was the principal officer-in-charge of inspections and standards at the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), told court during cross-examination by defence lawyer Robert Simeza that he was ignorant on how the ZAWA issue started and ended.

He said he never played a role in the ZAWA procurement process and did not follow the proceedings concerning the case.

Mapani said a procurement process could be cancelled, adding that that was why he referred the ACC officers that approached him on October 8, 2014 wanting to get clarity on the procurement of hunting concessions as well as the applicable process in procuring such a service, to section 22 and Regulation 24.

Mapani earlier testified during evidence-in-chief led by ACC prosecutor Boniface Chiwala that the process was supposed to be advertised in the public media to would-be bidders.

“I drew them [ACC officers] to section 22 (1) F of the Public Procurement Act of 2008 as well as regulation 24 of the Public Procurement regulation of 2011. I further did indicate that what the Act and Regulation indicate is that such a mandate is vested in the approvals authority,” he said.

Mapani explained that the approvals authority was an individual or board that grant prior authorisation before any award is undertaken in public procurement matters.

Asked if a Minister of Tourism and Arts had authority to cancel a tender, Mapani said such cancellations were vested in the approvals authority.

“The honourable minister does not have a role in procurement proceedings, including the aspect of cancellation,” Mapani said.

He said the approvals authority under ZAWA was the procurement committee and the chief executive officer.

But during cross-examination, Mapani agreed that the law was silent on the role of a minister in procurement.

Further put to him that the law does not say that the minister had no role in procurement, Mapani again said that was correct.

Asked what he would expect a minister to do if something was going wrong in the ministry, Mapani said he would expect a minister to be concerned.

When told that a minister was not a passenger in the ministry or a ceremonial person who would just watch corruption take place, Mapani responded that a minister was part of the ministry and in that sense would be interested to know what was going on.

The state did not re-examine Mapani and the matter was adjourned to September 15.

Count one alleges that Masebo, between December 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, in Lusaka, being tourism and arts minister, abused the authority of her office by cancelling the procurement process of tender number ZAWA/DG/002/2/12 for hunting concessions without following laid down procurement procedures, an act which was arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights or interests of the government.

In count two, it is alleged that Masebo, during the same period, in Lusaka and while serving in the same capacity, abused the authority of her office by terminating contracts of employment for senior officers employed by the Zambia Wildlife Authority without following laid down disciplinary procedure, an act which was arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights and interests of the government and other persons.

And after court adjourned, Masebo, in the company of UPND vice-president Dr Canisius Banda, addressed a huge crowd of supporters that turned to offer her solidarity outside the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court Complex.

Masebo said people were concentrating on wrong things.

“So you can see that people are concentrating on wrong things; instead of fixing the blackouts, tavutika ma light kulibe mu mayadi yathu, bathu basiliza time witch-hunting and prosecuting or persecuting political opponents,” said Masebo.

Rwanda: Parliament Defers Procurement Bill


The New Times (Kigali) via AllAfrica
January 20, 2015

The parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget and Patrimony, yesterday, sent back to the drawing board a new draft law that seeks to professionalise the procurement sector.

Legislators said the Procurement Bill had “a few issues” of unclearly stipulated legal assertions that required amendments.

Further examination of the Bill could not continue until the issues were sorted, said Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, the chairperson of the committee.

“We need efficiency and value for money in the procurement sector. To attain that, we need clearly stipulated laws that will call off all the issues that have existed, for well functioning and sustainable procurement in the country,” said Rwaka.

Her concern was echoed by MPs Jeanne d’Arc Nyinawase and Fidèle Rwigamba, who said they could not start examining the Bill when there are some issues that needed to be clarified.

“The Bill still provides for two different entities; one segment that seeks to govern the procurement profession, and another that establishes Rwanda Association of Procurement Professionals. We have to harmonise the two and come up with one legal framework,” said Nyinawase.

This was the second time legislators are sending back the Procurement Bill for further streamlining.

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The Bill was drafted to streamline activities of the procurement sector following repeated anomalies and incidents of corruption-related undertakings, especially as captured by various financial year reports by the Office of the Auditor-General.

However, Augustus Seminega, the director-general of Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), said the government wished to draft one law to avoid risks identified in drafting two separate laws; like diverting from a standard format of other laws on professional associations, as well as putting interconnected provisions in two separate documents.

It was agreed by all stakeholders, Seminaga said, that the Bill would entirely focus on the mechanisms governing procurement profession, with other provisions included in one Bill.

“We have agreed that the title reflects properly the content of the law. It will focus on procurement profession,” said Kampeta Sayinzoga, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Scrutiny of the draft law is expected to commence in February after legal advisors from relevant institutions make the required changes.

Once enacted, the law is expected to help close the loopholes that have been prevalent in the sector, especially in public procurement, where, according to the Auditor-General, about 30 per cent of tenders awarded by public entities do not comply with procurement guidelines.

The report that covered the period between August 2012 and June 2013, said that more than Rwf23 billion was lost in poor contract management procedures, while nine contracts, worth Rwf908 million, were abandoned by contractors.

Procurement loopholes were noticed in project design and study, bidding documents as well as enforcement of contracts, among others.

In a recent interview with The New Times, Seminega blamed procurement errors on low skill levels, lack of experience and laxity among procurement officers.

“Public procurement has improved. We are coming from a time when all public procurement was done by one central entity. Now, the government has built capacities, institutions can manage to do own procurement. It is a process to achieve efficiency in the sector, that is where we are headed,” said Kampeta.

Will Bill close gaps in procurement?

Rwanda: Latest – Minecofin PS Appears in Parliament Over Draft Procurement Law


The New Times (Kigali)  via AllAfrica
January 19, 2015

 

Professional procurement officers in the public and private sector will add value to Rwanda’s procurement sector, Kampeta Sayinzoga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, told The New Times.

She was appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget and Patrimony to defend a draft law that seeks to professionalize procurement this morning.

“The added value of this [new] law is that, it actually brings standards and professionalism in the procurement sector for both public and private circles,” said Kampeta.

Once enacted, the law is expected to close the loopholes that have been prevalent in public procurement sector where, according to the Auditor-General, about thirty percent of tenders awarded by public entities do not comply with procurement guidelines.

The new law will strengthen the existing legislative framework that governs public procurement by streamlining all the institutional and legal frameworks governing procurement management.

According to the Auditor General’s report covering the period between August 2012 and June 2013, more than Rwf23 billion was lost in poor contract management procedures, while nine contracts, worth Rwf908 million, were abandoned by contractors.

In a recent interview with The New Times, Augustus Seminega, the Director General of Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, blamed procurement errors on low skill levels, lack of experience and laxity among procurement officers.

Article 2 of the new draft law say that the profession of procurement shall be entrusted with persons who have knowledge, governed by ethical rules and international best practices and those who have chosen to practice it under supervision of a professional body in charge of establishing a code of professional practice.

Ghana should repay $3.8 million to Global Fund in faulty condom deal


Lauren Gelfand
December 11,  2014

condoms1

 

 

Tender for more than 120 million condoms was riddled with fraud — and the goods were bad

Ghana’s Ministry of Health spent some $3.8 million of a Global Fund grant on faulty condoms procured in a tender that was riddled with fraud, the Office of the Inspector General has found. In addition to developing a plan to recover the funds, the Secretariat will be placing all purchasing for Ghana under the pooled procurement mechanism and requiring greater oversight by the local fund agent.

The investigation report published on 11 December confirmed that the procurement of 128 million male condoms purchased for the Ghana Health Service between 2010 and 2013 were “substandard, over-priced and bought through a non-competitive tender process involving forged documents”.

The tendering process was flawed from the outset, according to the report. Advertised only locally for a very short time period, the bid was whittled down to a single source with the immediate disqualification of two other bidders. An evaluation by the Ghana Central Tender Board was not reviewed, making the process decidedly untransparent.

Only a month after the bid was approved, the MoH agreed to a 35% per unit cost increase — an increase worth nearly $1 million over what had been a fixed-price contract that was ostensibly not subject to adjustments. According to the investigation, there is no evidence that the supplier, Global Unilink, provided the Ghana Health Service with documentation including market-pricing data to justify the price increase.

Moreover, the tender was predicated on the provision of falsified documents. Global Unilink provided misleading information related to where the condoms were manufactured, including a falsified manufacturer’s certificates that declared the condom manufacturer was WHO-certified.

This led to the other major problem: the condoms were of decidedly inferior quality. The investigation confirmed that the supplier did not source the product from a WHO-certified manufacturer, as it had been contracted to do. The purchased prophylactics did not meet WHO specifications or standards, even though the samples submitted during the tender for quality tests did come from a WHO-certified manufacturer. What this means is that quality condoms were provided for testing and low-quality ones supplied for use.

These quality issues came to light when end users reported that they burst too easily, did not contain enough lubricant and, according to one Ghanaian media report, were not big enough.

Why the Ghana Health Service failed to continue to carry out quality control tests on the Be Safe condoms remains to be seen; going forward, Aidspan understands from the Global Fund Secretariat: “the Secretariat will provide the Ghana Food and Drug Authority with advance notice of the dispatch of critical health products and commodities procured for Global Fund programs from whatever source. The LFA will verify the quality testing has been conducted before distribution.”

Other safeguards have been put in place, specifically related to the procurement of health products and commodities for Ghana. Since 2012, Ghana has been enrolled in the pooled procurement mechanism and global drug facility, meaning that ARVs, HIV test kits, drugs and diagnostic kits for malaria and TB drugs are all now procured by the Global Fund on Ghana’s behalf. The MoH is now only responsible for the procurement of products such as gloves and cotton swabs.

The Secretariat should pursue the recovery of the full $3.84 million spent on the faulty condoms — funds that Ghana itself has since 2013 been seeking from the supplier, Global Unilink, according to Ghanaian media reports.

A majority of the faulty condoms remain undistributed, stored in an MoH warehouse that, itself, has been subject to major scrutiny for the poor quality and conditions. In one Ghanaian media report, the facility was described as having a leaky roof and poor temperature controls — less than ideal conditions even at the best of times. The condoms are to be withdrawn and destroyed by the MoH and Ghana Health Service in line with “international procedural and environmental regulations” — whether this will happen is unclear.

Ghana has a generalized HIV prevalence rate of under 2% but within certain key populations, including commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men, the rate is considerably higher. Results from a demographic and health survey supported by the Global Fund should be published in 2015: the best way to determine whether there has been an increase in infection rates. It will not, however, be possible, to make any causatory inference that a spike in infections is due to the use of these problematic prophylactics.

Nigeria approves N33bn intervention fund for meter procurement


Nigerian Tribune

by Gbola Subair

The acute shortage of electricity meters in the country will soon be a thing of the past as the Presidency has approved the sum of N33 billion intervention fund for its procurement.

The fund, which attracts a very low interest rate, will be made available to Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to buy meters and other electricity accessories with a view to bridging the meter deficit gap which is about three million yearly.

The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Benjamin Ezra Dikki, speaking in Abuja, also gave an assurance that the fixed charge currently borne by electricity consumers in the country would be dispensed with as soon as power generation increases to an economically sustainable level.

The director-general, who said the fixed charge was a temporary measure, appealed to electricity consumers to bear the burden, as it would soon be abolished, noting that the country had an installed power capacity of 6,000 megawatts, but was generating only about 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts. 

The BPE boss stated that the revenue from the 3,000 megawatts was not sufficient to support the power infrastructure.

”When power generation increases, the fixed charge will go,” he maintained.

According to him, it was the initial sacrifice consumers had to make given the huge financial investment made by the new power investors who are yet to obtain adequate returns on their investments.

Dikki added that as what obtained at the initial stages of the reform in the telecoms sector, when the cost of   the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards and telephone handsets was as high as N50,000 per SIM, “the electricity fixed charge will also crash.”

Dikki debunked claims of lack of transparency in the privatisation of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) and the picture created of a conflict between Geometrics Power Group and Interstate Electrics Ltd, the core investor of Enugu Distribution Company.

On KEDC, he said the reserved bidder could only be invited to step in if the preferred bidder failed to pay.

He added that the preferred bidder was, within the time limit, to pay the 75 per cent balance of the bid price after an initial payment of 25 per cent had been made.

The director-general said it was wrong for anybody to call for the revocation of the sale, as the process had to complete before reversion to the reserved bidder could be made.

On Geometrics, Dikki explained that it had a 20-year contract with the Enugu Distribution Company to supply power to the Aba and Ariaria districts, which is not in contention.

“Both parties are aware of this but it baffles me when people go out to deliberately distort the facts. We don’t understand the hue and cry that Geometrics is short-changed in the transaction,” he said.

Ugandan Head of Health Procurement Dismissed over Alleged Bribe


State House of Uganda

August 22, 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Asuman Lukwago, to dismiss the Head of Procurement, Frank Mugisha, for allegedly asking for a bribe from an Italian investor.

The President’s directive follows a complaint from Enrica M. Pinetti the chairman of Finasi Company that Mugisha had asked for a bribe of 20% of the total project she was handling in order to finalize the procurement processes.

Finasi, founded in the early 1970s is an Import/Export and primary goods trader in the Middle East and Africa. It has innovated and developed specific know-how in the Healthcare, Oil and Gas, Interiors and organic food fields delivering value-added services to its clients.

The company is a global turnkey provider for Healthcare facilities, projects and supplies.

Other countries where it has been carrying out similar projects includes Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Russia and Dubai.

In a meeting that took place yesterday, between President Museveni, Ministry officials and the Investors at State House Entebbe, the President directed that Mugisha be removed with immediate effect and be replaced with a devoted civil servant who cannot steal.

‘‘How can you keep a thief in the Ministry? And how are you going to counsel a thief? A thief is a thief. He should be removed,” he said.

The President pointed out that the coming of the Finasi Company to Uganda was at his request to build a first class hospital that will be dealing with complicated problems such as kidney and heart operations.

“I requested them to come to Uganda to deal with kidney and heart problems so that people stop travelling to India for treatment,” he said.

The President also directed the Ministry to iron out its differences with the investor in two weeks and pave way for the project.

According to a report from the Minister of Health Dr. Rukahana Rugunda to the President, Mugisha formerly worked with the Ministry of Agriculture before being transferred to the Health Ministry were he has been for nine months.

Ms Enrica Pinetti also behind efforts to add value to Uganda’s coffee for export as powder is pleased by President Museveni’s action.

Uganda: Embrace new guidelines for procurement


The Observer

Editorial Sunday August 24, 2014

The country has been left in some confusion as regards the upgrading of the Mukono-Katosi-Nyenga road.

First, the company that supposedly won the deal to build the 74-kilometre road is reported to have dissociated itself from the company in Uganda – with the same name – which signed the contract with the Uganda government. In the meantime, nearly Shs 25bn has already been paid out by the government to the contracted company.

Last week, MPs toured the road and found that some 13 kilometres had already been covered. This raises the question: which company is doing the Mukono-Katosi roads. Could it be that the Eutaw that signed the contract in Kampala only shares a name with the Eutaw in the United States? There are strong indications that the Uganda government has been taken for a ride.

But as the police tries to get to the root of the matter, the junior minister for Works, John Byabagambi, last week made a startling revelation; he suggested that as many as 50 per cent of the firms that bid for public contracts in this country were not genuine. Quoted in The Observer on Friday, Byabagambi said these companies were so crafty they could beat any amount of due diligence.

These are perilous times for a country whose president only recently renewed his commitment to fight corruption. Despite Byabagambi’s telling statistic, however, it is important that everything possible is done to ensure that these disingenuous firms do not find an ingenuous government bureaucracy. Instead, technocrats in government should develop some kind of sixth sense to beat the craftiness.

A good starting point is the guidelines recently issued by the secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi. As The Observer reported on Friday, Muhakanizi wants a three-phase system of due diligence involving accounting officers, financial institutions and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority.

It is important these guidelines are followed and any breaches thereof followed by stringent sanctions. Obviously the crafty businessmen and women could find loopholes, but the public procurement system needs to ensure it remains one step ahead of those who want to steal from Ugandan taxpayers.

 

Rwanda: 300 Awarded Certificates in Procurement Courses


AllAfrica.com

By Sarah Kwihangana

September 28, 2012

The School of Finance and Banking (SFB) has awarded certificates to over 300 students who have completed training in professional procurement courses.

The 2nd certificate awarding ceremony was held yesterday in Kigali under the theme “Twinning arrangement to develop capacity in procurement for Rwanda.”

The director general, Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), Augustus Seminega said that training in professional short courses in procurement is in line with government’s plan to ensure good public procurement practices through skilled manpower.

“Initially, we had no institution offering such courses. I am happy that now our procurement officers can undertake such trainings here in Rwanda and, in turn, our employees acquire more skills,” Seminega said, adding that he was optimistic that the graduands will contribute to good practices to public procurement.

He called on the students to implement what they had learnt and also encourage their colleagues in the same field to pursue such professional courses. He further called for more people to take on these courses since there is still a wide skills gap especially in public institutions.

SFB acting rector Papias Musafiri Malimba underlined the need to create a critical capacity building in the field of procurement as it still lacks skilled professionals.

He appealed to employers to facilitate their employees to acquire such skills and called on the graduates to study all the seven modules of the professional procurement courses.

Jean Pierre Munyabugingo, a procurement consultant and one of the graduates who was also awarded a certificate of trainer, said he had acquired a lot of knowledge in the four courses he had studied under the program.

“I did a course in training of trainers, procurement for good, works and services. These courses are very practical and the knowledge I acquired is going to help me perfect my work. As a trainer I will definitely assist people and organisations where there is a need.”

Peace Asiimwe, an accountant with RPPA, received a certificate in project management and procurement planning. She says it was additional knowledge as an accountant.

“This course has broadened my understanding of procurement practices and processes. I have learnt about the laws and regulations, the process of getting a tender among other things which I intend to put in practice.” Asiimwe said.

Various students received certificates in different fields of; project management and planning, procurement for goods, works, services, audit, and logistics, advanced contract management, and of these seven were awarded certificates for training of trainers.

A law is in the pipeline to put in place an institution in charge of accrediting procurement officers in the country in a bid to enhance professionalism.

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