Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) is building an electronic public procurement system expected to start in July next year.
According to Augustus Seminega, the director-general of RPPA, the project will cost $8 million (about Rwf6 billion).
Seminega made the announcement, yesterday, during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Public Procurement Service of South Korea under which both sides seek to collaborate in training and capacity building in the establishment of the system.
The MoU provides for sharing of experiences and knowledge in the sector that would build the foundation of efficient and transparent procurement system.
“The e-Procurement is expected to improve public procurement in curbing corruption by reducing physical contacts between bidders and government officials. It will also increase transparency by providing fast and accurate information,” he said.
Seminega added that e-Procurement would lead to efficiency whereby it will be easy to access sufficient information on products and suppliers.
The installation of the system is being done in collaboration with Africa Olleh Services of Korea and will be sponsored by the World Bank.
Bidders will be accessing information and submitting documents online.
“Once we launch it, we can export it to other countries and increase revenues since the system is fast. It will have an electronic stamp and signature,” he said.
Lee Taewon, the vice-administrator of the Korean Public Procurement Service, said his country has almost 15 years of experience in the system and Rwanda is the third country in Africa in which Korea is supporting the system after Cameroon and Tunisia.
Lee said, apart from providing capacity building, they were also considering expanding support in terms of funds.
Seminega said Rwanda had 150 principal procurement entities such as ministries, agencies and districts, and about 1,150 subsidiary sectors that include district hospitals, district pharmacies, health centres and secondary schools.
There are tender committees in each procurement entity, an independent review panel at national level and district independent review panels, he said.
The procurement systems audit of 2013 identified problems such as poor quality of goods, services and works procured.
There were also delays in payment of suppliers by some procuring entities, while poorly prepared terms of reference as well as poor designing of tenders, delays in contracts execution, were also cited.
The audit also showed procurement of unnecessary services and goods, poor filling of contract management documents, lack of data base of bidders operating in the country, disputes, forged documents, among others