KAMPALA - Rwanda Public Procurement Authority has made commendable progress in reforming public procurement systems specifically in fighting corruption, a top World Bank official has said.
Mbuba Mbungu, a World Bank senior procurement officer said that the country’s procurement law which came into force in March last year, introduced a number of positive practices in the procurement processes.
This was highlighted last week during a three-day East African Procurement forum in Kampala jointly organised by the World Bank and Uganda’s Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority.
“Clearly Rwanda is doing very well and it has challenged us all to work harder,” said Mbungu.
“For instance anything done outside the law, even simple mistakes, is heavily punished under the procurement law in Rwanda. I think that is why Rwanda has managed to fight corruption which is still a big problem in our procurement process here in Uganda,” a Ugandan official observed.
The comments came after a presentation by a Rwandan delegate on “Challenges in implementation of procurement reforms in Rwanda” which highlighted the country’s procurement reforms.
Under the new public procurement law, all procurement and consulting services are carried out by a procurement entity apart from procurement of classified items meant for national defence and security.
The law also put in place a code of conduct for procurement officials and provides for stringent measures in case of violation.
“Rwanda has made significant progress in implementing procurement reforms as result of what was lacking such as issues of transparency and confidentiality. We are still in the reform process and until we have a sound procurement law, we shall continue to make amendments,” Eng. Isaac Mitali Mutabazi, an official from Rwanda Public Procurement told delegates at the forum.
Violation of any sections of the procurement law leads to debarment of bidders between one and three years according to what has been violated while accounting officers are also held accountable for any misdeed, he stated.
According to Engineer Mitali, after a transitional period of three years after publication of the law establishing Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, there will be no more procurement at the central level.
“Procurement entities will be able to handle the process on their own and the role of Rwanda Public Procurement Authority will be regulation, monitoring and capacity building,” he explained.