The Rwanda Parliament has passed a new law governing public procurement that will enable the country to improve tender procedures, address existing challenges and meet international procurement regulations.
The revised Law n° 62/2018 of 25/08/2018 on public procurement was passed this November 7, 2022 after it spent weeks in the budget committee of the Chamber of Deputies but was unanimously voted through.
The passed bill contains 172 articles compared to the draft law that contained 169 articles.
MP Omar Munyaneza, the Committee Chairperson said: “There will be more transparency in public procurement in relation to major infrastructure projects like roads and others. This reassures us that the gaps that existed in the awarding contracts will be bridged.”
The bill was also enacted with the purpose to cater for use of the e-procurement system in public procurement and while presenting the draft bill, the ministry said that it will address current concerns in procurement.
For instance, the ministry said that the implementation of the current law faced a lot of challenges as expressed by different users (procurement professionals, bidders, tender committees), regulatory and control bodies (RPPA, OAG, Office of the Ombudsman), civil society organizations like Transparency International Rwanda.
Key concerns raised during the implementation of the current law included having many provisions relating to the implementation which would have been delegated to implementing orders, severe loopholes giving room to corruption and misuse of public funds; lack of necessary procurement methods to promote innovation.
The specific objectives of revising the current law among others include the introduction of new requirements like information on beneficial ownership disclosure during the bidding process to serve as a reference for due diligence in the evaluation process.
The law will oblige procuring entities to share information relating to procurement with their supervising authorities, define a clear bids evaluation process that leads to the determination of value for money and reduce loopholes to corruption.
It will also come with reducing the percentage beyond which the contracting entity cannot conclude an amendment to the procurement contract that has been reduced from 20% to 5% as a key anti-corruption measure.
One of the interesting aspects is the law will introduce new innovative procurement methods, practiced globally like- reverse auction, design and build, turnkey, pre-finance in procurement for complex works/ tenders, procurement for innovation.
It will also strengthen accountability to reduce the loss of public funds by identifying, tracking, and sanctioning actions leading to loss of public funds, especially if the above models of procurement are introduced.
On the pre-financing model, the bill will reduce the challenge of some projects failing to get financing or planned without proper sources of funding but also that the long-term repayment will allow the government to handle budget needs and planning.