Let vetting lead to integrity in all stages of procurement
SEE ALSO :Uhuru's tax gamble that enraged KenyansWe are keen on the realisation of functional, efficient and effective procurement management regimes. We have been a strong advocate for laws and regulations that guide the setting up of fool-proof procurement structures, systems and processes. To ensure these structures, systems and processes are implemented as envisaged, there must be empowerment, resourcing and strengthening of initiatives and partnerships to build capacity in procurement. Enforcement of regulations touching on procurement at the organisation and individual practitioner levels is a priority. Ultimately the policy arm (National Treasury), the regulator (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority—PPRA), and the professional body (KISM) must work together to implement a functional procurement regime that serves the national interest. To sustain gains from the vetting process, it is necessary to eliminate undue influences in the management of procurement. Laws and regulations that prescribe organisational structures to increase procurement accountability must be adhered to. This structures if implemented, can secure the procurement decision-making processes and shield procurement workflows from undue internal and external influences. Standard tender documents, tools and templates being used by practitioners to carry out public procurement are outdated, thus creating loopholes that result in incorrect setting of evaluation criteria and subsequent bad decisions in the evaluation of tenders. This results in mis-procurement of contracts. The IFMIS system which allows payments to contractors is not adequately synchronised to the procurement legal framework. The e-Procurement module of IFMIS is limited and does not fully support e-Procurement. It is necessary to ensure implementation of an e-Procurement system that supports all tendering processes and protects the e-processes from manipulation. But ultimately it is individuals who are responsible for lapses in the processes. Therefore, all professionals who participate in procurement must uphold the ethical standards prescribed by their respective professional bodies. They must be registered and licensed by their respective professional bodies for purposes of continuous professional development and regulation of conduct through practice standards and disciplinary mechanisms.