The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) has warned companies and individuals using middlemen to get provider’s certificate that they were being issued with forged ones and faced blacklisting if caught.
The public procurement regulatory body says it has noted a surge in complaints from the bidding community of those that have been conned of their money by middlemen who are issuing them with forged procurement provider’s certificates.
A provider’s certificate is one issued by the PPDA which shows that the company is registered with the authority and can bid for any government contract.
Sylvia Kirabo, the public relations officer of PDDA, said the authority has realized an increasing number of bidders using forged certificates and when asked where they get them from, many say they were helped by middlemen to get the certificate.
The issue of forged certificates affects mostly small and medium companies. The bigger companies know the processes and ensure that they get the right documentation, said PPDA.
A PPDA registration certificate helps in establishing the authenticity of the company. It is an indicator that a company has been meeting their other obligations like paying taxes and social security for their employees.
To the certificate, a company must have a tax clearance certificate, letter of incorporation and must have paid social security for its employees.
A genuine certificate from the authority costs the provider between Shs 150, 000 and Shs 200,000 depending on the services a company offers.
Those that bid for works like construction of roads pay the most expensive at Shs. 187,500. Other bidders offer supplier which include the day-to-day running of the office like stationery,
However, according to Kirabo, companies pay as high Shs 5m to Shs 10m and end up getting forged certificates. When they submit bids with such certificates they lose bids and are suspended as punishment.
Last February, the authority published a list of 110 companies that it had suspended after they were found with forged provider’s certificate. Others had forged tax clearance certificate, bid security, bank guarantees. Some companies had forged certificates of incorporation.
Companies can register for the provider’s registration certificate from online but they have to pick the hard copy certificate. Also, registration is done physically at the authority’s head office in Kampala, its regional branches in Mbarara and Gulu. The registrations usually happen at the start of the year.