Government Procurement Portal strengthened, disclosure and use of Procurement Data improved

AFIC supported PPDA the successfully redesigned the Government Procurement Portal (GPP) and aligned it to Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS); making Uganda the first African country to reach this fit. The website which went live in March 2019 was redesigned to accommodate the increased numbers of entities that must disclose public procurement information that is OCDS compliant and enable monitoring and production of reports that can be used to analyze the disclosed data.

To promote disclosure and use of the redesigned portal, the project trained 60 procuring entities and so far 147 procurement plans have been uploaded on the portal. Since the redesign, new entities have been registered on the GPP. The disclosure levels in the districts of engagement in the project also improved significantly.  For instance in the FY2018/2019 none of the four districts, i.e. Nebbi, Mbarara, Ntungamo and Kable districts published the required procurement information on GPP while Kanungu and Pakwach had not been added on the GPP. However in the FY2019/2020 there was noticeable improvement as 10 out of 14 procuring entities in the 6 districts of Nebbi, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kable Kanungu and Pakwach disclosed procurement plans although they didn’t disclose other documents like bid invitations, best evaluated bid notices and signed contracts.  AFIC analyzes this data regularly and uses it to have informed engagements with the government based on the findings.

As a result of the redesign, for the first time, there is a framework and bulk procurement contracts added to the GPP. Additionally, PPDA plans to report on local content adoption and reservation schemes in this year’s Performance Report using data captured primarily from the redesigned GPP. The redesign has inspired an eco-system of tools that consume GPP data, for instance, AFIC open-data dashboards, the electronic Infrastructure Monitoring Tool and the CoST Uganda infra-data dashboards, which have been extensively reused for visual data analysis. Global Integrity, an international NGO, also uses GPP data to design its red flag dashboard.

With the successful upgrade of the GPP, AFIC was invited to share lessons with PPRA Kenya on how to duplicate its workflow. The meeting was prepared on the backdrop of Kenya’s government commitments to open contracting and to the OCDS in several international fora. The government of Kenya and PPRA in particular have worked aggressively to open up public contracting data to the private sector, citizens, oversight agencies and the government. Kenya has also taken significant strides in making public procurement transparent, notably the launch of the newly redesigned Kenya Procurement Portal.

Data on the GPP can be used to inform and influence positive action towards improved service delivery by the policymakers and decision-makers. Several previous issues have been addressed by the newly upgraded GPP, which has led to increased demand from training entities. For instance, National Medical Stores and National Water and Sewage Corporation have requested AFIC to train their Procurement Officers which was not been the case before.

GPP user engagement numbers in summary since it was redesigned

Since the launch of the redesigned portal, the GPP has had more than 13,000 unique visitors with an average seven-minute session duration. With e-GP on the horizon, PPDA is still pushing non-pilot entities to use the GPP and will later transit to e-GP which has a live uploading function.

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