Procurement planning is defined both as a process used by contracting authorities to plan contracting or purchasing activity for a specific period, as well as a plan for the purchase of a specific requirement.
Annual Procurement Planning
• A Procurement plan is a requirement under the Rwandan public procurement laws and guidelines. (Ref. Article 6 of Public Procurement law and Article 2 of the procurement regulations );
• The Rwandan financial year begins from July and ends in June.
• According to the budget calendar, Budget estimates and the Budget Framework Paper are submitted to Cabinet in March.
• This means that by the month of March, procuring entities have a fair view of their budgetary allocations
• The mistake that most procuring entities commit is that they begin the procurement process in July when the budget financial year begins.
• From July, payments for any procurement can be done, but the process of procurement can begin before the financial year starts.
Process and Timeline Linked to Budget Cycle
In Rwanda where the financial year runs from July to June, the process for planning would work like this:
• February: procurement officers work with user departments to determine procurement proposals and make initial list.
• March: procurement officers put together a draft procurement plan.
• April: a final list of procurement requirement and procurement plan is agreed upon.
• May: the process of procurement can begin so that by July when the financial year begins, some contracts are almost or ready for signature and execution.
Advantages of Procurement Planning
• Links are forged between the user unit, the finance unit, and the procurement unit from the earliest notion of there being requirement/need;
• Economies of scale are gained by uniting the requirements of different areas;
• There are no surprises when requirements manifest themselves in later months;
• Everyone can plan and schedule resources for the coming year more effectively;
• The procurement plan is linked to the national plans and strategic plan of the procuring entity.
Consequences of not Undertaking Procurement Planning
• User units, the finance department, and the procurement unit work in isolation unaware of each other’s needs;
• Requirements received by the procurement unit would be surprises, for which would not be possible if there was pre-planning;
• Procurement officers would miss information on the potential requirements because they would not know they existed;
• Economies of scale would be missed because the requirements of different areas would be processed separately;
• Resource scheduling would be difficult;
• Misprocurement will be likely;
• Mismatch of procurement plan and budget execution of the procuring entity;
• There would be no procurement plan linked to the strategic plan of the procuring entity.
GATSIBO District has posted its Procurement Plan on its Website and you can download for any information.