A raft of new public procurement regulations in Uganda

A wave of fraud-related public procurement scandals has gripped the nation in recent years. Allegations of fake tenders and false representations by imposters have plagued the procurement cycle, becoming a frequent feature story in the news. The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority has issued several fraud alerts warning the public about fraudulent procurement deals.


The tell-tale signs of a scandal are often unsolicited initial contact, much-touted single-source, non-competitive bidding,  payments for various registration requirements to be done by a recommended law firm, a high-profile reception for bidders visiting the country, complete with armed police escorts from the airport and a big signing event in a said to be public office. It is when the music stops that the prospective bidder is left, several thousands of dollars short, holding a worthless contract and calling their erstwhile contacts who have now vanished into the ether.

Though a couple of suspects have been charged in court, no case has been concluded yet.


New regulations


Against this backdrop of fraud, we are gradually witnessing a revamp of the public procurement process.


The 2021 amendment of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, 2003 (“the Act”) ushered in reforms aimed at promoting fair, competitive, transparent and value-for-money procurement and disposal practices.


A raft of new regulations which were issued by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and effective on 5 February 2024, seek to operationalise provisions of the amended Act. The regulations change the membership composition within procuring and disposing entities, regulate bidder negotiations, incorporate sustainable public procurement, reduce evaluation periods and promote the use of the electronic Government Procurement System (“eGP”)


Electronic Government Procurement


The eGP system is an integrated system designed to digitise the procurement and disposal process in ministries, departments and agencies of government. It was rolled out in 2021 as a pilot project and has reportedly been deployed in 36 government entities to date.


The system is designed to conduct end-to-end procurement activities online involving all stages of the procurement cycle from planning, advertising, submission, evaluation, award, contract management, invoicing and payment. As a result, it minimises human interaction and allows for documents to be easily tracked and accessed electronically.  It aims to enhance competition, promote accountability and increase transparency at every stage of the procurement process, all critical in the fight against fraud.




Procurement is essential to efficient governance and allocation of resources. The issuance of revised regulations and a push to fully implement the eGP system are laudable efforts in the fight to against procurement fraud. The effect and success of these initiatives is yet to be tested but will be closely followed by concerned citizens and investors alike.



Read the original publication at ENS

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