By Max Patrick Ocaido
Government has cancelled a works tender procedure for civil works for the upgrading Atiak-Laropi Road.
The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development acting as the National Authorising on May 16, 2019 announced that the upgrading of the 66km road to paved standard will not take place because “all technically acceptable tenders exceed the financial resources available.”
According to the cancellation notice, should a new tender procedure be launched for this project, a new contract notice will be published, unless the contracting authority awards the contract through a negotiated procedure – in which case only the award of the contract will be published.
The Atiak - Laropi road that is being funded by European Union is part of the regional, national and international route connecting the remote north-western region of Uganda and Southern Sudan to the Ugandan capital at Kampala, via the regional capital at Gulu.
The project is projected to contribute to improving road transportation and trade facilitation along the abovementioned corridor and improving transport services and agricultural productivity by connecting remote and disadvantaged districts to the main road network.
In August 2018, government kicked off the search for a contractor through opening bidding in which the stipulated deadline for submission of bids was March 18, 2019.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Jim Mugunga told Kampala Post that the mandate of finance ministry is to allocate funds and the decision to cancel such tenders is usually done by the contracting authority.
Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa said that cancellation of the tender does not affect the procurement process.
"This has not affected the procurement process. It is still ongoing and we are handling it with Ministry of Finance," Ssempebwa said.