Beginning July this year, suppliers seeking tenders in public agencies will only be able to submit their bids through an e-procurement system.
The move will see about 150 public budget agencies issue tenders through the Umucyo e-Procurement System.
The initiative is set to complete its pilot phase which the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) said was successful.
Unlike previously when public tenders were advertised through print media and bidders would submit physical documents, under the new system, tenders will be announced on www.umucyo.gov.rw.
The application process will be paperless as bidders will submit their proposals and quotations through online portals, reducing physical interaction between them and procurement officials.
Celestin Sibomana, the RPPA director of capacity development said this is expected to reduce instances of corruption and malpractices which were common, previously.
Suppliers will be required to register on the system after which they will acquire a digital certificate.
In the process, the suppliers will get orientation and training on using the system.
The system’s capability was put to test beginning July last year engaging eight entities.
Officials note that it is ready for roll out. The eight entities involved in the pilot phase include Rwanda Transport Development Authority, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda Development Board, Ministry of Health, Gasabo and Kicukiro districts.
Over the pilot phase, about 1012 suppliers were registered onto the platform of which 1108 made bids while a total of 376 tenders were announced.
So far about 153 contracts were signed after use of the platform.
At the moment over 55 tenders are open on the platform. About 116 procurement officials from various public entities have so far been registered to use the platform to put up tenders.
According to officials behind the initiative, they are looking to register about 3000 suppliers in coming days in the build up to the roll-out of the platform.
Richard Migambi, the E-procurement project manager explained that out of about 4000 regular suppliers in the country, they target 3000 for the beginning.
Other than curbing malpractices and corruption, the new system is expected to minimise use of fake supporting documents in tender application process.
Sibomana said that previously, some suppliers could acquire fake supporting documents, including bank and insurance guarantees.
“Under the E-procurement system, providers of the supporting documents such as guarantees will directly submit the documents via a portal, leaving no room for production of falsified documents,” he said.
According to Migambi, the new system in its pilot phase proved to reduce time taken in biding processes as well as costs incurred by bidders.
Once a tender is announced, bidders will be able to make multiple bids through the system.
On the lapse of the deadline, the portal will automatically close and make the various bids accessible to bidders hence ensuring transparency.
The system cost about cost $8 million (about Rwf6 billion) and was installed in collaboration with a Rwandan IT company, AOS Ltd.