Factors affecting implementation of reservation schemes and access to public procurement by small and medium enterprises in Uganda. a case study of kampala capital city authority
The overall aim of the study was to assess the factors affecting the implementation of Reservation Schemes in relation with access to public procurement contracts by prequalified SMEs in Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Uganda. The study was directed by these objectives: to examine the effect of professionalism in public procurement management, execution of procurement procedures, stakeholder training and access to information in relation with access to public procurement contracts by SMEs in KCCA. A case study research design was borrowed. It mainly engaged a quantitative approach including a qualitative approach. The population study comprised of 140 accomplices including Accounting Officer, User Departments and Evaluation Committees, Procurement and Disposal Unit Officers, Contracts Committee members and prequalified SMEs from which 97 respondents sample size was determined using Krejice and Morgan statistical table (1970). Simple and purposive sampling techniques were utilized in the study. The Quantitative data analysis largely entailed the descriptive statistics (mean, percentages and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (linear regression analysis and Pearson correlation coefficient). Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Findings revealed that there was a significant and positive effect of professionalism in procurement management on access to public procurement contracts by prequalified SMEs (β=0.391, P-value<0.05). Secondly, there was a significant and positive effect of execution of procurement procedures on access to public procurement contracts by prequalified SMEs (β=0.496, P-value<0.05) and this proved to be the strongest predictor among the all the constructs included in the study. Thirdly, there was a significant and positive effect of stakeholder training on access to public procurement contracts by prequalified SMEs (β=0.450, P value< 0.05). Lastly, findings indicated that access to information had a positive and significant effect on access to public procurement contracts by prequalified SMEs (β=0.308, P-value<0.05). It was concluded that effective professionalism in public procurement management, execution of procurement procedures, Stakeholder training, and access to information are so important in enhancing access to public procurement contracts by SMEs in KCCA. Thus, it is recommended that there is a need for PDU officials at KCCA to demonstrate a high level of non-discrimination by promoting transparency in what is being done in the process of contracting out services to SMEs. Secondly, a primary decision needs to be always reached on what measures are applicable for the kind of acquisition involved and its value. Thirdly, PDU staff are able to make full use of the likelihood to accomplish framework agreements with a number of economic operators and to organize simple competitions for entities to the framework agreement as actual procurement needs arises. There is a need to ensure that payments are not postponed until the end of the year. This will enable failure of SMEs to meet payment deadlines. More so, use of electronic payment systems should be emphasized or promoted for easy payments. There is a need for PDU to ensure that payments are suspended with a valid reason and need for an independent public procurement training done for PDU staff at KCCA annually. Lastly, there is a need for Procurement and Disposal Unit Officers at KCCA to be trained in reservation scheme handling.