The Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), the Ministry of Finance (MINECOFIN) and the Chamber of Tourism in the Private Sector Federation (PSF), on Monday met with hoteliers at Hotel Novotel in Kigali.
The purpose for the meeting was to sign contracts between the government and Hoteliers for a partnership in hosting public employees while on special assignments.
The government has in the past been facilitating public employees with cash for accommodation when on official missions.
In this new arrangement, the government will instead sign contracts with the hotels in order for them to host any government employee bearing all documents proving he or she is on assignment.
The hotel will then forward the bill to the government to receive payment. The meeting was organised by the RPPA, PSF and the Association of Hoteliers and Restaurants in Rwanda.
No contract was however signed due to a very low turnout by the hoteliers and some points the participants felt were unfavourable to one or the other party that needed to be ironed out. Of the 250 hotels expected, only 15 attended.
Speaking to The New Times, the head of RPPA, Gustus Seminega, said that the low turn-up might have been caused by other commitments some hoteliers had.
However, one the participants who preferred anonymity said that the meeting was boycotted due to government’s procedures when clearing bills.
“The government has this habit of changing its plans at the last minute when you are expecting a client,” she explained.
Emmanuel Rusera, Chairman PSF Chamber of Tourism suggested the inclusion of penalties in the contracts in case government institutions fail to clear a bill within 30days. The idea was met with consensus by all parties.
“It’s not fair when government delays to pay a business company that needs profit. Let it be little but in time. That’s how business works,” Florien de la Paix Uwamahoro, a hotelier added.
The RPPA promised to ease bill clearance procedures. The hoteliers were advised by the RPPA to ponder on the contract proposal. They will be called again possibly on November 15 for their final decision and possible signing of contracts.