Dear Mama Fundi!

In regard to this new e-procurement technology, what are the merits and demerits of forwarding construction bidding documents in hard copy or soft copy? Or should it be in both?

Mama Fundi: Thank you for that concern regarding e-procurement technology.

My answer will be in form of a view from the Internet: Some European governments have for some time been digitalizing their procurement systems for greater transparency and efficiency. This drive has and continues with the introduction of G-Cloud 7, an online digital marketplace for cloud services. Building upon this innovation, the Crown Commercial Service launched the Crown Marketplace, a new e-platform that could be used to procure ‘off-the-shelf’ items for the government. The development of these platforms shows the governments’ commitment to procurement transformation, and the scale of opportunities that could be missed, should suppliers fail to update their procurement methods to deal with this new technology. 

Views from the selected members of the 8M Information Forum

[1/29, 4:11 PM] Eng Darlington Sakwa, ICT Specialist: In cases where the client has the Electronic Document Management System like UNRA does, the electronic or softcopy has the following advantages:

  1. Bid evaluation is much easier as each member of the evaluation committee accesses the bids directly through an automated EvaluationCommittee Workflow.
  2. There is no need to photocopy bids to distribute to the committee, thereby cutting costs.
  3. Leakage of the documents is minimized as lower cadres are not involved in photocopying and distribution of the documents.
  4. Members of the committee can carry out an evaluation on their laptops at any time without carrying volumes of documents from place to place.
  5. Storage needs for bids are reduced to a basic minimum of one reference hard copy.

[1/29, 5:59 PM] Twino, dealer in solar mounting: One reason I like paper is that no one can hack in. [There are] minimal alterations.
[1/29, 6:05 PM] Eng Darlington Sakwa: Paper can be hacked. I witnessed an embarrassing case where a bid in the Ministry of Finance was hacked such that different bidders were sold different versions of the bid. On the contrary, with Electronic Document and Records Management (EDRMS) anyone who tries to modify the document will be registered by the system as it will indicate the person, the time, date and what was changed. The audit trail will betray you! In addition, Grosvenor decays in responding to their mandatory tasks are sent reminders and the supervisor gets copies of reminders.

[1/29, 6:10 PM] Eng Dr. Anania Mbabazi: Very good points from the client point of view. There are many more benefits to the bidders.
1. Confidentiality – the bidder is able to submit the bid without involving the lower cadres who can leak the bid amount.
2. You can submit at any time even after working hours. Even when you are in the field so long as you can access the Internet.
3. You have a password to your financial which you only give after passing a technical proposal. This saves the bidder in many ways.
4. You do not need to waste time making more copies to submit.
5. It saves the environment in many ways, paper, travel time and car fumes.
6. It increases security as you can have remote storage of bids (for the client).
7. Bid evaluation is faster as you can copy text from the bid to the evaluation report without having to retype everything.
The benefits to the industry are also enormous – as follows:
1. Imagine how many times one has to photocopy the certificate of incorporation, the tax clearance, the degree certificate, etc. These could be verified online by the issuing authority or verified once by PPDA.
2. Forging soft copies is more difficult.

[1/29, 6:27 PM] Eng Darlington Sakwa: Spot on. The EDRMS I am talking about is compliant to the American Department of Defense (DOD5021) security standards. It would be very hard to forge content without being traced. Moreover, you should convert your documents to PDF/A Fri better protection.


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