The Government needs to put in place a better mechanism to handle procurement malpractices. RPPA and the Auditor General’s are the main actors here. However Auditor General always comes in when it’s too late, when tenders have already been awarded and money spent...and the process of recovery takes another couple of years and the cycle continues.
RPPA is key in this process because, a previous procurement law (before or around 2007) used to task RPPA with awarding tenders whose value was over Rwf100 million. But the new law now allows all agencies to award a tender of any amount. The higher the tender value, the more temptation for corrupt tendencies, and given big infrastructure tenders in Mininfra, transport agencies, RSS and Rwanda Housing Authority, it’s no wonder that usually these institutions register the largest number of questionable procurement deals.
I propose that the procurement law be amended and RPPA to again use the non-objection route for tenders that are worth a certain amount of Francs, for example Rwf300 million.
This would enhance monitoring of procurement processes, as opposed to having to wait for the Auditor General to come in a year later to examine how the process was conducted. As for the proposal by the Director General, RPPA to create a new institution, I don’t think that would be necessary as the non-objection method is much easier, cost-effective and is more effective. All the major development partners such as the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank use this method and I have seen it work more effectively.
(Reaction to the story, “30% of public tenders awarded unlawfully, The New Times, October 25)