An Assessment of the influence of Public-Private Partnerships on the efficiency of procurement of construction projects in Kampala district
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The traditional way of procuring public infrastructure and services by the public sector is increasingly becoming unviable particularly in developing countries because of the budget deficits. Growing investment requirements have shown that public financing is limited and often inefficient. This has necessitated the consideration of public private partnerships(PPP) which constitute a viable option and may even dominate infrastructure and service delivery in developing countries in the years to come(Ndandiko,2010). This study aimed at assessing the influence of Public private partnerships on the efficiency of procurement of construction projects (public infrastructure) in Kampala district. The study focused on four objectives of analyzing the PPP models applied in Kampala district, investigating the contributions of PPPs to the efficiency of procurement of construction projects, investigating the challenges facing PPPs in Kampala district and finally recommending solutions to these challenges. In order to obtain primary data, the study employed questionnaires with open and close ended questions. A sample of 13 officials in the PPP unit and 20 officials on the KJE project in UNRA was involved in the study and the selection was based on simple random sampling method. The findings of the study indicated that only 2 projects have been implemented under the PPPs in Kampala district that is the Kampala Entebbe Express highway and the proposed KJE. Another finding revealed that PPPs have greatly fetched out private sector knowledge and innovation to bear infrastructural development in Kampala district. Other contributions included improving efficiency of procuring construction projects, reducing the level of poor infrastructure, solved inefficient funding for infrastructure. Above all if PPPs are effectively applied in Kampala district they can greatly improve the infrastructure in the district. Findings portrayed that there are a number of challenges faced by PPPs that hinder their implementation in Kampala and these include; lack of awareness of PPPs as a means of implementing big projects, political interference, lack of human resources to effectively apply PPPs, mistrust of private sector involvement and weak public sector institutions. A number of solutions were suggested to these challenges which include; Government providing incentives to the private firms willing to engage in the partnerships, PPPs should be well researched and backed by credible players in xii order to attract the needed finance, provision of a legal framework and enforcement from the government. Conclusions were drawn from the study and the study revealed that PPPs exist in Kampala district but what is lacking is formally stressing their usage and developing them as a mode of public procurement. Their application is still limited and the number of projects accomplished is so low. However the main challenge is lack of human resources to effectively apply the PPPs and lack of awareness about the public and private cooperation where most individuals confuse PPPs with privatization. Some of the recommendations are that there is need to prioritize and enhance the implementation of PPP projects, anti- corruption agencies should be emphasized, acquiring up to date information on appropriate legal and regulatory framework for PPPs and finally sensitization of the institutions about public and private cooperation.