Opening up government procurement in Uganda

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) data portal will this Friday go live allowing any user in Uganda track progress of how the government is choosing suppliers and spending money.

Procurement - the selection of providers from which to purchase needed good and services - is often an area in which corruption takes place. Suppliers offer private incentives to be selected even if they are not the best placed to deliver what is needed.

So the government pays more than it should for something or gets something of poorer quality than needed while an individual or group of individuals profit. When procurement processes are conducted in secret corruption can happen much more easily whereas if everything is open to anyone, there is more chance that wrong-doing will be caught quickly but also that people will be too afraid to try to cheat.

With the entire procurement cycle (planning, tender notices, award process and contracts) going online citizens, investigative journalists, and civil society actors as well development partners can follow through any project of interest, hence improving the quality of project delivery.

The process of aligning the government procurement portal with the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) was informed by a request for support from PPDA to the African Freedom for Information Center (AFIC) to improve the existing government portal that selectively allowed users to access just bits of data and not the entire procurement process.

The site will host all procurement processes for more than 350 government agencies and so far 167 are on the portal.

Twaweza and AFIC are collaborating on this work, to support citizens to access government information. In the long term we hope that citizens will begin to use this information to participate more in decision-making and in how services are delivered.


Read more: governance



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