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19 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Poor procurement has caused severe delays to Uganda’s national identity card scheme, producing just 400 cards out of the required 3.5 million.
The auditor general’s annual report revealed equipment supplied to produce the cards was damaged and lost before being used. Damaged equipment included 37 generators and 746 cameras, and lost equipment included 30 laptops, 93 tripods and 26 batteries.
It also found further discrepancies, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs funding the scheme through a Bank of Uganda loan, which is against government guidelines, leading to interest costs of USh3 billion ($1.2 million).
An inquiry by a Ugandan parliamentary committee into procurement of the ID project earlier this year found there was no competitive bidding for the selection of the equipment supplier for the scheme. And procurement framework procedures set out by the Public Procurement and Disposal Authority (PPDA) were not followed. There was also no due diligence carried out on the supplier.
The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs recommended projects follow the PPDA regulatory framework and departments carry out due diligence on suppliers.