Members of the Association of Procurement Professionals in Rwanda (APPR) have been tipped to enhance professionalism in public procurement to help achieve value for money.
The call was made by Frank Muvunyi, the chairperson, during the association’s general assembly on Friday.
Created in 2016, the body last Friday held its inaugural annual general assembly comprising procurement professionals in the country.
According to its chairperson, Frank Muvunyi; “Everybody was allowed to compete in public tenders before the body was established but, unfortunately, some would tarnish the image of the procurement sector because they lacked professionalism. But now, we want a well-organized association of professional contractors who are well equipped with relevant skills with common ambition to achieve value for money so we can advance the sector and the country by extension.”
Muvunyi further warned that even members will be reprimanded in case they act contrary to established professional standards and that the rationale behind the creation of this body was to ensure the sector is streamlined.
“It would not be something new if one of us is banned from our association, having found out that their behavior contradict the association’s values, rules and regulations because they would be tarnishing the image of our sector.”
He made reference to the Auditor General’s previous report where 180 contractors were blacklisted from applying for any other public tenders due to forging bidding documents before e-procurement system was introduced.
The association is planning to offer capacity building to its members to further improve the procurement sector, which will enable them enhance professionalism, honesty and transparency in public procurement.
The association will also be key to mobilising the public procurement sector players to increasingly embrace the e-procurement system during bidding for public tenders to ensure transparency in providing tenders and time management and timely deadlines in the bidding process.
In a period of one year, the association has already enrolled 370 members out of 397 applications received for registration in the process.
Augustus Seminega, the Director General of Rwanda Public Procurement Agency (RPPA), said the body will be helpful in enhancing procurement sector.
“This is a regulatory body established by the law, like other bodies, which is going to help procurement professionals in doing their job with ethical values. It’s also a platform through which members can gain more professional capacity building that can help them improve their skills in procurement procedures,” seminega said.
Virginie Mukasakindi, the procurement officer at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), said the body has the task to intervene in setting up procurement rules for special cases like hospitals which sometimes order medicine during emergencies.
“Those who set the rules and ethical regulations should pay attention to institutions, like ours which sometimes offer tenders as emergency which demand an expeditious process. Such rules corresponding to emergency cases should be inserted and be applicable to avoid death incidences at hospitals.”