Public procurement suppliers called to ease bidding process during COVID-19 lockdown

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 24 April 2020 at 11:00

The National Public Procurement Agency (RPPA) has asked government suppliers to make it easier for bidders to meet certain requirements during the current COVID-19 lockdown.

RPPA noted that the Coronavirus pandemic affected the way public procurement procedures, requiring suppliers to make it easier for bidders when submitting documents from government agencies.

A statement issued by the agency on April 21, 2020, said that suppliers should make it easier for bidders on certain documents, where they would have to show but have not yet received it and indicated that they have applied for it.

"Where certain documents are required, including those provided by financial institutions or government agencies, bidders should be facilitated on those documents, where necessary and provide evidence that they have applied online," it said.

RPPA also stated that to comply with the competition rules, tenders are required to avoid discrepancies in the tenders they provide.

For activities that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the successful bidder and the supplier are required to review the steps they take to avoid losses from the delay. Complainants are also required to comply with the provisions of Article 117 of the Public Procurement Law.

The article states that in the event of a temporary suspension, the successful bidder must take the necessary steps to protect and ensure the safety of the equipment and prevent it from being damaged at his or her own expense.

Article 116 stipulates that the suspension of activities must not exceed 30 consecutive days; when more than the specified dates, the market contract is immediately terminated without dispute.

However, if the procurement authority decides to suspend the work for more than 30 days, both parties agree on measures to be taken to avoid losses resulting from the suspension.

The period of suspension shall be extended to the termination of the work provided for in the contract as long as the completion of the work does not coincide with the time of the decision to suspend the work.

Before the lockdown of activities and unnecessary travel due to Coronavirus, RPPA was in the process of training new and aspiring entrepreneurs, by competing in public procurement through the ‘Light e-procurement’ website.

Procurement bidders are required to seek documents early to avoid problems at the last minute.