Institutional capacity critical for effective record management towards enhanced transparency and accountability in public procurements
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Enhancing transparency and accountability is widely recognized as an indicator for improved governance and pre-requisite for enhancing service delivery and development. In a bid to promote transparency and accountability in public procurements, Uganda’s Public Procurement system, through the Public procurement and Disposal of Assets Act and the PPDA authority is committed to ensure that all Public Procurement Entities keep records of public procurements to desired regulatory standards. However, poor record keeping has remained persistent in public procurements compromising accountability, transparency and public service delivery. Records are scattered, kept on separate ﬁles or different departments. In other cases, they miss completely for some procurements or speciﬁc procurement activities. This paper provides empirical evidence in account of this phenomenon. The paper is based on ﬁndings from analysis of primary qualitative and quantitative data which was collected from a sample of 76 record management stakeholders in Local Government Procurement and Disposing Entities. The study established prevalence of critical capacity gaps, institutional and technological challenges which constrain record keeping and management in the districts. These are typically institutional capacity challenges which should be addressed looking forwards to improve record keeping for enhanced transparency and accountability in public procurements. The paper ﬁnally provides possible measures to address the challenges.