Tender management system for e-procurement
This paper presents the findings from a study, which was carried out to investigate the viability of e-Public Procurement in Uganda. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development was the venue for this case study. The study set out to meet the following objectives: Undertaking a review of the existing literature on e-procurement in government departments; documenting the policies used for procurement and tendering in Uganda; developing and testing an eTEDES prototype that demonstrates the viability of implementing an electronic procurement management system for evaluating tender documents; and validating the prototype using historical data. To achieve the objectives of the study, software engineering techniques were deployed on top of a qualitative research design. Questionnaires, which were supplemented by interview guides, observation and document analysis, were the research tools used in gathering data. In addition to this, a representative sample of the ministry staff was interviewed. It was discovered that sorting bid-sheets manually takes a lot of time, resource constraining and is subject to a lot of fraud as well as bureaucratic tendencies. Specifically, it was discovered that sorting and ranking results arising out of electronic bid evaluation is quicker, enhances the evaluation process and it aids decision making. In other words modelling the tendering process as the fabric for electronic procurement plays a vital role in demonstrating the viability of e-procurement adoption in Uganda. It was concluded that electronic tender document evaluation systems can improve the procurement process significantly, if they are well adapted, they can save time in terms of bid evaluation. Secondly, tender management systems can be implementable in government institutions if there is management buy-in. Thirdly, although implementing such systems requires a big chunk of the institutional budget, it is worth the investment compared to an off the shelf system. Lastly, if such demonstrative prototypes are implemented, they can adaptively interface with existing systems, hence attaining the government long term goal of e-governance.