On September 15, 2017, the Ugandan Government Procurement Portal (GPP) was updated to an Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) compliant version. It is now accessible on the following link http://gpp.ppda.go.ug/open-data/
The Government Procurement Portal is a web-based portal on which the Government of Uganda proactively discloses procurement information. Public entities are required to publish information related to procurements ranging from procurement plans, bid notices, Best Evaluated Bidder Notices and awarded contracts.
This achievement is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), the regulator for public procurement and Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), advocating for open access to public procurement information.
The alignment of the GPP offers the users with the possibilities to consult, download and use public procurement information disclosed, from planning to implementation, by procuring entities on the portal.
This collaboration between PPDA and AFIC illustrates the impact of a constructive relationship between government and civil society on accountability issues. AFIC elaborated a case study to capture the good practices of this experience for knowledge sharing about multi-stakeholders’ engagements in the realm of transparency and accountability. It also shows the simplicity of adopting the OCDS in public procurement and provide guidance on each step that would lead other African governments to implement such an international standard.
Implementation of the OCDS will benefit the governments with better opportunities for efficient procurement management, harmonization of public procurement systems across countries and reaching better value for money on public projects and services. The direct impact will be better public services delivery to the citizens.
It is important to note that OCDS alignment of the GPP offers a framework to the public entities to disclose information in more structured open formats, user-friendly and consistent manner. It is still requiring them to comply with data entry in the system. As for now, there is apparent lack of information on some elements of the procurement cycle as this was not being collected. OCDS has helped to identify gaps and the next step towards achieving efficient open contracting in Uganda is to engage public entities to disclose more data in a systematic and timely manner.
This will necessitate capacity building for the public servants responsible for the disclosure of such data as well as strong political will to amend the existing public procurement legislation in a way that disclosure of all OCDS data by procuring entities should be mandatory.
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