Factors affecting the e-procurement readiness in the public sector of Uganda
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The implementation of e-procurement in other parts of the world has brought benefits such as efficiency, cost reduction, shortened procurement process, minimised corruption, improved compliance and standardisation of procurement. Although the Public Procurement Authority has made many strides in the adoption of initiating e-procurement in Uganda, the pace for implementation and adoption is still very slow. Against this background, the study was conducted to investigate the adoption and implementation of e-procurement in the public sector in Uganda. Therefore, the specific objectives were: to determine the status of implementation and adoption of e-procurement in the public sector; to identify the challenges to effective implementation and adoption of e-procurement; and to identify the factors that contribute to successful implementation of e-procurement. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design, using purposive sampling to select respondents and administer the questionnaire. A total of forty-eight (48) procurement practitioners participated in the study. The data collected were analysed using frequencies, percentages, standard deviations and mean rankings supported by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results indicated that the Ugandan public sector was well informed about the e-procurement process, although it was poorly patronised. It was also found that various challenges such as lack of human resource capacity and poor supplier relationship were more likely to hinder the e-procurement process. Factors such as an evolutionary approach to implementation and availability of IT infrastructure were also found to have a positive impact on the adoption and implementation of the process. It is therefore recommended that public sector institutions in Uganda need to integrate e-procurement activities into their operational systems to help overcome the challenges associated with the traditional method of procurement.