Effects of public procurement legislation on Operations of public procurement in Kenya: a Comparative study
Quality public service delivery has for long been a burning issue in most third world governments and the Kenya government is no exception. For a long time stakeholders in the public procurement sector complained of misallocation of resources, inefficient services, lack of transparency and fair competition, and lack of sanctions against unscrupulous procurement staff. Thus vast reforms on the public procurement sector in Kenya were initiated by various stakeholders such as the World Bank and African Development Bank in the late 1990s and have since borne some fruit. In particular, the enactment and enforcement of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 has been seen as a prominent feature ofthe reforms. The primary objective of this research was to assess the effect of the public procurement law on the operations of public procurement, with specific focus on public procuring entities within Nairobi region. Procurement staff from ten public procuring entities participated in the survey through filling questionnaires. The study explored the perceived impacts of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act which came into force in 2007 against the intended outcomes of the law during its inception and also benchmarked against the OECD-DAC Assessment of National Procurement Systems. The issues studied under this objective were procedures, cost savings, time efficiency, transparency, fair competition, staffing and the overall economic impact in comparison with the old regime before the law came into existence. The other objective was to find out those factors that affect the feedback mechanism within public procurement from a systems perspective. The study was able to establish that the public procurement law has so far to a large extent met the desired outcomes of cost savings, transparency, fair competition, professionalism, clarity of procedures and overall economic well-being. Feedback was found to be largely affected by the organization's culture followed by the level of similarity in homogeneity among employees and then job rank/group. The recommendations from this study were that its findings could act as a benchmark for guiding the amendment of public procurement law so that to seal the loopholes which are hindering the achievement of all its desired outcomes. This research also proposed better management of resources such as time so as to reach optimal levels of productivity.