All foreign contractors awarded procurement deals shall be required to partner with Ugandan subcontractors.
The proposal is contained in the amendments to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. In the proposals, government seeks to favour local contractors and local products during procurement.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (Amendment) Bill is now before the Parliament Committee on Finance.
“We are now saying these sub-contractors are embedded in our laws so that if there is a big procurement process, either externally, then it is mandatory to have sub-contractors who are Ugandans,” said David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance (Planning), while appearing before the House Committee on Tuesday.
This, Bahati said, will promote government’s efforts in the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) campaign because it will now be backed by law.
“We have been negotiating and persuading companies to incorporate BUBU but now we want to put it in the law. We want to try as much as possible to deepen BUBU in all our operations as government, and the best place to start from is in our systems of procurement,” Bahati explained.
Similarly, the Bill proposes to reserve certain procurements for youth, women and people with disabilities.
“This issue keeps coming when approving loans before the House, we are always asked to have a provision for special interest groups but if it is not backed by law, it will be hard to achieve the desired goal,” Bahati said.
Legislators on the Finance Committee were however dissatisfied with the proposal to allow the Secretary to Treasury to issue guidance on how two or more government entities can collaborate to acquire services or products.
Judith Franca Akello (FDC, Agago) recommended that the Bill should clearly stipulate the roles of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the PPDA.
The Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Henry Musasizi, advised Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to stick to provision of guidance on all public procurements as stipulated in the law.