On Au­gust 21st 2019, a team from the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment and Dis­posal of Pub­lic As­sets (PPDA) Ap­peals Tri­bunal ap­peared be­fore the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Fi­nance chaired by Hon. Musa­sizi Henry. The mem­bers from the tri­bunal pre­sented their pro­posed amend­ments in the PPDA Amend­ment bill 2019. Cur­rently, there is no reg­u­la­tory body in Uganda to reg­is­ter pro­cure­ment pro­fes­sion­als. This im­plies that grad­u­ates with pro­cure­ment qual­i­fi­ca­tions from in­sti­tu­tions of learn­ing can op­er­ate with­out reg­u­la­tions from a for­mal in­sti­tu­tion. The Tri­bunal pro­posed that there should be a reg­u­la­tory body for the pro­fes­sion. Some of the pro­fes­sions reg­u­lated in Uganda in­clude; ac­count­ing which is reg­u­lated by the In­sti­tute of Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­coun­tants of Uganda, law which is reg­u­lated by Uganda Law Coun­cil, among oth­ers.

An­other pro­posal by the Tri­bunal was that the In­ter­nal Au­di­tor in the Of­fice the PPDA should re­port di­rectly to the Board but not to the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor. It was ar­gued that this is meant to pre­vent any in­ter­fer­ence by the man­age­ment with the au­dit. The com­mit­tee mem­bers ques­tioned whether this will not un­der­mine the re­port­ing sys­tem in the man­age­ment struc­ture since it is about in­ter­nal au­dit, not ex­ter­nal au­dit, how­ever, the chair­per­son in­formed the team that the pro­posal was go­ing to be looked into by the com­mit­tee when con­sid­er­ing the bill.

Other key pro­pos­als in­cluded amend­ing Clause 25 of the PPDA Act to pre­vent en­ti­ties from ac­cept­ing un­so­licited bids. “If there is no call for bids, no bid­der should be ac­cepted,” the team from PPDA Ap­peals Tri­bunal noted. Cur­rently un­der the PPDA Act, a po­ten­tial bid­der can sub­mit a pro­posal to a Min­istry or gov­ern­ment de­part­ment even when there is no ad­vert call­ing for bids. It was dis­cussed that un­so­licited bills com­pro­mise the pro­cure­ment processes. Also, that only bid­ders with the least price of­fers should be con­sid­ered when award­ing con­tracts. The tri­bunal ques­tioned why the Act pro­vides for re­ject­ing a bid­der of­fer­ing the least price yet only qual­i­fied bid­ders are se­lected from the pool of ap­pli­cants. In their pro­posal, they want only the bid­ders with the least price of­fers to be granted con­tracts from the se­lected po­ten­tial bid­ders.

The PPDA amend­ment bill is still be­fore the Com­mit­tee of Fi­nance of Par­lia­ment and af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion, a re­port of the com­mit­tee shall be tabled in the House for de­bate.