Cornelia Sabiiti
Cornelia Sabiiti

The January 2015 list of common user items and their prices in different parts of the country, with an average price for each item, is a guide that the Government entities should consider when carrying out procurements in the 2014/15 financial year, according to PPDA.

Cornelia Sabiiti
Cornelia Sabiiti

?The list provides indicative prices to guide entities during the budgeting process and help them achieve value for money by benchmarking quoted prices against market prices before contracts are signed,? said Cornelia Sabiiti, PPDA?s executive director.

The list, which is now available on the PPDA website:
www.ppda.go.ug, is aimed at curtailing the overpricing of commodity/service prices and cheating by suppliers as well as procurement offi cials.

Sabiiti said accounting officers should make their own market intelligence to know the prices of their goods and services.
?Though the list does not cover all items that are a subject of public procurement, it contains the major items for services and supplies,? she noted.

The list, compiled late last year and released early this month, followed a survey of market prices as collected from several outlets and procurement and disposal entities done by PPDA, in collaboration with the Makerere University College of Business and Management Studies.

The items include air tickets, courier services locally and internationally, insurance services, security and guarding services, advertising services, electrical equipment, construction materials (civil works, pipes and fi ttings), agricultural tools, fuel and lubricants.

Others are brand new vehicles and motorcycles, motor vehicle repairs and servicing, printers and printer consumables, computers and accessories, computer maintenance and repair.

There is also software sales and installation and anti-virus, laser engraving, printing, art, design and secretarial services, office supplies, clearing and forwarding, uniforms, office furniture, hotels and conferences, fire-fighting services, tools and equipment.

The PPDA mandates it where applicable, to determine the average prices of works, services and supplies, which are used in common by two or more entities and which may be subject to common procurement and review the prices from time to time.

Vincent Mugaba, the PPDA senior public relations offi cer, said the price list is a guide published annually to help accounting officers realize value for money from public resources.

?It also helps in ensuring that entities are not overcharged, while making procurements and helps accounting officers to ensure that procurement officers do not inflate commodity/service prices,? he explained.

Asked what happens in cases where the exchange rate (dollar rate) affects the cost of commodities and services, Mugaba said PPDA was aware of such and other factors that affect commodity/service prices and publish the price list simply as a guide.

Public officials welcomed the price list for common user items used across all Government institutions, but disagreed on the idea of updating it annually.

Moses Kirungi, the head of procurement at National Drug Authority, observed that the ever fluctuating exchange rate needs to be put into consideration while fixing prices.

He suggested that the price list be updated at least after every two weeks to cater for the exchange rate.

?Since most of the items are imported, the dollar affects their prices. PPDA needs to put more emphasis on regularly updating that list,? Kirungi explained.

Like Kirungi, the works and transport ministry?s spokesperson, Susan Kataike, welcomed PPDA?s idea of coming up with a price list.

However, Kataike was of the view that the list be reviewed after every two months, given the existence of various factors that affect prices of commodities and services from time to time.

?Updating the list annually is not a good idea because commodity prices change, depending on factors such as inflation, exchange rate and season,? she said.

By Chris Kiwawulo, The New Vision

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