Procurement delays have stalled the implementation of various infrastructure development projects under the Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Program-CAIIP in Bundibugyo district.
In October last year, the African Development Bank donated 2.5 Billion Shillings to Bundibugyo district under CAIIP for the improvement of infrastructure like markets and roads in rural areas. However, the district is yet to utilise the funds. The district had earmarked several feeder roads in Mitandi and Busaru sub counties and five road side markets for construction under the project.
Charles Tugume, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer Bundibugyo says the funds are being held on the district account because of procurement delays. Tugume blames the district contracts committee saying it has failed to hire contractors. Tugume adds that the project suffered another setback after some members on the procurement committee were interdicted and have never been replaced.
He adds that the district council will soon appoint other members to sit on the committee to expedite the procurement process so that construction work starts immediately. Benjamin Tusiime, the Bundibugyo district procurement officer wants the local government ministry to relax some of the procurement procedures.
Tusiime says there should be separate regulations for procurement of vital services such as road construction.
//Cue in: â€œbureaucratic tendenciesâ€¦
Cue out: â€œâ€¦so rigid.â€//
The procurement delays have angered some residents who have accused the district of not caring about their needs. Richard Mwesige, a resident of Mitandi sub county wonders why the district is able to award contracts for other works and fails to award the ones for CAIIP projects.
Mwesige says that constructing feeder roads will enable farmers to access markets to sell their produce.
//Cue in: â€œthe roadsâ€¦
Cue out: â€œâ€¦losing much income.â€//
According to section 29 of the local government Act, every district should have a contracts committee which shall consist of five members nominated by the Chief Administrative Officer. Some of the roles of the committee include approving evaluation reports for tenders, award tenders or reject tenders and approve contract documents and amendments.