[Kenya] Tool tames procurement theft
A platform in which organizations can get reliable and vetted suppliers for various products and services electronically while also reducing operational expenses of manual procurement processes is reclaiming institutions' lost treasures with companies saving up to 20 percent of their returns.
Organizations searching for supplies to post electronic tenders or requests for quotations or pre-qualified suppliers by that particular organization are prompted to provide their bids, proposals and quotations electronically. This allows the organization looking to source to easily compare all the proposals via the platform and make an informed decision based on key metrics such as supplier rating, cost and estimated delivery time.
Procurement is fraught with various cumbersome processes in which organizations sieve through different suppliers before deciding which ones they will give. According to the Public Procurement Oversight Authority, public procurement is about 12 to 15 percent of the Growth Domestic Product. In its report, PPOA stated that “stiff competition to win public tenders make public procurement prone to corruption by providing conducive environment for corrupt practices.”
An assessment of the Procurement System in Kenya done by the Public Procurement Oversight Authority has always revealed that lack of procurement information which hinges on transparency is one of the challenges facing procurement processes in Kenya. The report further asserted that procedures for pre-qualification lack clarity. It authored “fair and transparent rules of participation are key elements of a sound procurement framework. Access to participation should be based solely on qualifications and preferably be determined on a pass/fail basis in order to avoid arbitrariness in the decision making process.”
Being a very sensitive issue, electronic processes offer an avenue in which transparency can be enhanced since all relevant details about the suppliers and the organizations are provided. The study recommended e-procurement as a possible way of reducing corruption as it increases transparency and better access to information.
Stefano Carcoforo, a founding member of iprocure was emphatic that the platform “was developed to address the supply chain issues that are faced by SMEs based in sub-Saharan Africa. The problems associated with supply chain process are twofold, that is sourcing and distribution.” By sourcing, it related to getting credible suppliers for products. Distribution is about creating networks that can monitor and control inventory, orders or track shipments.
Apart from transparency and a paperless process, iprocure also ensures that clients log on and configure the application to cater to their procurement needs. Furthermore it ensures that the organizations looking to source commodities are getting the absolute best value, by leveling the supplier playing field.
From a capital of approximately $10,000 which was a combination of savings and support from founding members, iprocure is making substantial profits in its six months of implementation.
Tawfiq, a distribution firm majoring in Reckitt Benckiser and Nestle products with a countrywide coverage is currently at the initial stages of implementing the iprocure.