Overview of transparency in the construction sector
The Hoima-Kaiso Tonya road is part of the Kabwoya-Kyenjojo project in the Albertine RegionIt is estimated that addressing Uganda's infrastructure challenges requires sustained expenditure of around $1.4 billion per year over the next decade. The Uganda already spends approximately $1 billion per year on infrastructure, equivalent to about 11 per cent of GDP.
Existing efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in the construction of infrastructure in Uganda include Transparency International (TI) which focuses on promoting transparency and accountability in service delivery and community empowerment in the areas of education, health and extractive industries. The 2003 Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Act requires Procurement and Disposal Entities, like the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), to promote transparency, accountability and fairness in procurement including publishing of bid evaluation results before contracts are awarded. In addition to that, the World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) keep UNRA committed to implementation of the Governance and Accountability Action Plan (GAAP) for all projects which the banks finance.
Uganda announced that it has joined the CoST program on 18 September 2013 when it became the fifth African country to join the CoST program increasing the total number of participating states to ten. To create awareness of UNRA’s intention to implement projects based on CoST principles, public announcement was made at the UNRA 5th anniversary event and the during Uganda's Joint Transport Sector Review (JTSR) in September 2013. The event included participants from central and local government, private industry, academic institutions, NGOs and the media. Following the announcement, UNRA plans to appoint a manager for CoST who can ensure effective management and coordination of CoST activities and prepare a sensitisation workshop for CoST stakeholders.
UNRA is also in the process of establishing a Red Flag Contract Management System which will provide building blocks for the implementation of CoST. The Red Flags are based on the indicators of transparency, accountability and value for money as outlined by the WB. For the past two years, UNRA has been reforming the procurement function through upgrading the Procurement and Disposal Unit (PDU) to a Directorate and the introduction of Independent Parallel Bid Evaluation (PDE) by an overseas procurement firm. In addition to that, UNRA has applied for Accreditation from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) and has started implementing the CoST Principles for enhancing trust in the system.The development of procurement procedures has been completed in September 2013.
A multi-stakeholder forum was held in March 2014 to promote the CoST Uganda programme to a broader group of stakeholders. The next steps include establishment of a Multi-Stakeholders’ Oversight Committee, conducting a scoping study and disclosing information from the following road projects.
- Kabwoya - Kyenjojo
- Kampala Northern Bypass
- Kigumba - Bulima – Kabwoya
- Masaka – Bukakata
- Mubende - Kakumiro - Kagadi
- Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi/Kisoga - Nyenga
- Olwiyo-Gulu-Kitgum - Musingo Road
- Villa Maria - Sembabule