Study Report: How Disclosure and transparency in procurement affects Health and Education service delivery

In 2022, Africa Freedom of Information Centre did a procurement data study in the five countries of Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, and Nigeria, and the results revealed a direct association between disclosure, contract supplies, and service delivery.

According to Charity Komujjurizi, the project’s lead, the study based on selected indicators drawn in subject categories focused on disclosure and transparency, competition, inclusiveness, efficiency, fraud, collusion, and value for money.

She says the data analysis was based on procurement data that was voluntarily released on the individual countries’ national public procurement portals and websites.

“Operands and numbers for the various indicators were computed using predefined mathematical operations. Findings showed that overall Nigerian entities disclosed the most data (71%) on the required indicators on planning, tendering, award, execution, and payments. This is followed by Kenya and Uganda, each at 29%.”

Findings showed that the average number of contracts awarded per supplier was 1.4(Uganda), 1.48(Kenya), and 1.8 (Nigeria).

These results signify a relationship between disclosure and Average number of suppliers in the case of Uganda and Kenya. In Malawi, none of the target entities disclosed procurement information on the PPDA website, but central medical store id publish tender information on its website. Only one of the ten entities did not have their website. And only one of the three which had a website disclosed procurement data.”

According to the findings of this investigation, the government loses at least US$454.33 due to inflated contract prices with Uganda at $13.35 million and Nigeria at US $440.98 million.

AFIC’s Executive Director, Gilbert Sendugwa, believes that automation and obligatory disclosure duties will restrict officials’ discretion in deciding whether or not, when, and what data to publish.

National governments need to expedite the automation of the procurement processes and reporting processes to enhance the quality and integrity of disclosed data.” He says

Mr. Sendugwa, explains that automation ensures data accuracy, allowing particiption while reducing the possiblity of corruption and illegal procurement practices.

According to Charity Komujjurizi, AFIC’s monitoring and Evaluation coordinator, proactive disclosure enhances transparency in procurement and contract fulfillment.

“When procurement information is widely available, citizens can monitor contracts implemented in their communities.” However, when the level of information is low, this call may be severely limited.” she notes.

The study showed that most disclosed data (with the least missing data) was information on contracts by entities with the respective contractors.

“It is suggested that the phenomenon could be motivated by the need to comply with the payment procedures. The law, irrespective of jurisdiction, and indeed best practice requires any payment (to the contractor) to be in sync with the contract that should spell out, among others, the parties to the contract (the client and contractor), the effective commencement date, consideration (the price), and the basis for payment.”

It is therefore not strange to find entities overly disclosing data on the contracting parties.

From the results, however, the least disclosed data (with the highest missing data) across countries were procurement plans and budgets (21%), information on closed tenders for more than 30 days (17%),
disbursements (17%), and tenders linked to procurement plans (17%).

Nondisclosure of these data points undermines transparency in procurement and project delivery. Specifically, the low disclosure of procurement plans and budgets, as well as disbursements makes the role of citizens in monitoring project implementation impossible.