Kampala: The management of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) have spoken out about allegations that have been circulating in the media to the effect that the Executive Director, Benson Turamye, blocked an investigation into the procurement of prepaid metres by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), and that his academic credentials are lacking.
According to a press release dated Monday January 3rd, 2022, the PPDA management contends that the allegations, which impute that Turamye habour corruption tendencies and was illegally hired as Executive Director, are being peddled by detractors who not only aim at tarnishing the reputation and Turamye as a person and the PPDA as an institution but also causing friction between the PPDA and the Inspectorate of Government.
The press statement from PPDA reads in part thus;
“Our attention has been drawn to misleading and malicious information that has been published on social media and by online blogs/sites aimed at tarnishing the image of the person of the Executive Director of the PPDA, Mr. Benson Turamye and the PPDA as an institution.
The publications, which are characterised by outright falsehoods, impute, among other things, that the PPDA blocked an investigation into the procurement of prepaid water metres by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
They further misleadingly claim that Mr. Turamye has fake academic documents.
In addition to running these malicious stories, the purveyors of these falsehoods have also attempted to draw a wedge between two sister agencies in the fight against corruption, notably the Inspectorate of Government and the PPDA.
We would like to clarify as follows:
The PPDA did not block the investigations into the procurement of the prepaid water metres by the NWSC. On the contrary, the PPDA duly undertook an investigation and on 30th July 2020 issued a report citing the irregularities in the procurement process and made appropriate recommendations.
The report of this investigation is a public document available on our website www.ppda.go.ug and the recommendations in our report were implemented by NWSC.
Therefore, the public is urged to disregard the unfortunate messages that the ED blocked the investigation into the procurement of the prepaid metres.
The allegations that the ED is opposed to the IG re-opening investigations into the matter and worse so questioning the competence of the IGG is extremely regrettable.
The quotations attributed to the ED are fabrications as he has not talked to any of those sites. This matter is now being handled legally.
For the record, the PPDA welcomes any investigation into the matter and will cooperate as usual with any of the sister agencies in the accountability space.
Indeed, this far, we have, and we will continue to jointly work with the IGG on all investigations including sharing our reports. We regard the IGG highly as an invaluable partner in the fight against corruption.
It is also unfortunate to malign the person of Mr. Benson Turamye claiming that he does not possess the requisite academic papers to occupy the office of Executive Director.
For the record, the PPDA Board of Directors that undertakes the recruitment process, follows robust and rigorous procedures to ensure that the person who occupies the office of ED is of impeccable record.
This includes undertaking due diligence by verifications of documents tendered in at the time of recruitment to ensure that the awarding institutions certify that indeed they are genuine.
This is to inform the public and our stakeholders that the authors of these malicious and defamatory messages will not in any way intimidate the Authority to divert us from our commitment to Automating the procurement processes, conducting performance audits, empowering citizens in monitoring government projects, publishing beneficiaries of government contracts, suspending contractors involved in fraudulent practices and enforcement of penalties as per the PPDA Act 2003.
This statement therefore serves to shed clarity on the malicious, false and reckless information that has been ran by some sections of unprofessional media to deter us from pursuing our mandate.
We would like to assure the public that our crusade to root out corruption in public procurement is undeterred.