New Public Procurement Bill to spur Youth businesses
In keeping with its pre â€“election promise, President Kenyattaâ€™s government through the National Treasury has made changes to the public procurement Bill to make it easier for youth, women and people with disabilities to participate in the government Tendering process.
Through a Gazette Notice on June 18th, the rules that will help government institutions comply with the presidential directive were laid down. The directive requires that 30% of all public tenders be set aside for youth, women and persons with disabilities. Under the new rules, any small and micro enterprise or disadvantaged group wishing to participate in public procurement should register at the National Treasury or the respective county treasury offices. All registered enterprises from both the national and county treasuries will be consolidated and published by the Public Procurement Authority. All public entities are required to comply with these new rules and file quarterly reports with the Public Procurement Authority.
The new law denotes that preference will be given to small businesses that are registered with the relevant government authorities and that comprise of 70% youth, women or persons with disabilities; the leadership must also be 100% youth, women & persons with disabilities.
Whatâ€™s more, exorbitant fees for acquisition of tender documents have been scrapped; Tendering documents will be made available online for download. Additionally, documents obtained via hard copy from the participating government institution will only be billed for the cost of printing/ making copies- this fee must not exceed Ksh 1000.
On securing a tender, the public procuring entity must facilitate financing for the youth owned businesses. This will be done by authenticating the notification of tender awards, Local Purchase Orders or Service Orders, subsequently entering into an agreement with the financier that payment will be made by them through an account opened by the contracted youth enterprise. This will ensure that youth businesses are not eliminated from the process due to challenges of liquidity while facing a big order.
Finally, on supply of goods &/or services, the new laws require that youth entities be paid within a period not exceeding 30 days. Where an entity is not able to clear the payment, it is required to honour at least half the amount and explain the reason for the delay in writing to the youth enterprise. Furthermore, where a delay in payments by the procuring entity is likely to happen, the entity is required to facilitate invoice discounting with a financier to advance credit to the affected business.
Well there you have it! The future is bright for the youth, let us put our best foot forward and seize the opportunities as they come.