CHALLENGES FACING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO ACCESS 30% OF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Ndeto Charles Kyalo

Abstract


Participation of Special Interest Groups in Public procurement has a great impact on the economy and needs to be well managed. The preference regulations allow government entities conducting procurement processes to allocate procurement opportunities to special groups like youth, women and persons with disability. Public institutions are supposed to institutionalize procurement plans, which should have a total reservation of 30 per cent of the procurement budget to the special groups. However, in the year 2017, special categories were awarded 4.45 per cent of the total procurement spend against the required minimum of 30 per cent. Therefore, the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities program has failed to meet the anticipations set by the government whereby few groups have benefited from the plan. In order to realize sustainability of the programme, there is an urgent need to address challenges facing implementation of the policy. This study found that challenges facing the implementation of the legal requirement for women, youth and persons with disabilities to access 30% of government procurement opportunities include lack of information, lack of financial capacity and late payments, skills and competence, procurement procedures and enforcement and compliance. The study recommends that requirements for accessing credit from banks and other lending institutions should be efficient and effective to the youth, women and persons with disabilities so as to increase access to finances. In addition, penalties should be placed on public procurement officials who do not comply with the Public Procurement and Disposal (Preference and Reservations) Regulations 2011 to ensure that there is greater levels of compliance with the law. Various stakeholders should facilitate seminars and trainings that will ensure the groups are knowledgeable on regulations touching on submission, receipt and opening of tenders. This will ensure that the groups register their enterprises with the relevant government bodies and that there is open and fair competition. Also, procurement procedures should ensure that special groups have a level playing field with men in government tenders by building their capacity and capabilities.

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References


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