Government openness has since become a necessity for strengthening the delivery of public services. The concept is strongly linked to and measured by the extent to which governments are transparent and accountable to its citizens on the decisions they make, particularly regarding the collection of revenue and expenditure. Procurement of public goods and services is a critical stage in the decision-making ecosystem.
In ensuring that the people of Elgeyo Marakwet county are able to enjoy and get value for the development resources, Elgeyo Marakwet County Government has committed to open procurement processes in a bid to ensure the right contractors are awarded tenders to implement community projects. This is a significant and tremendous effort towards improving service delivery by putting citizens at the heart of the tender awards.
In the past, inadequate opportunities for public involvement and timely procurement information on how procurement decisions are made, have been considered to promote corruption and yield poor and sub-optimal implementation of community projects. In its open government commitments, Elgeyo Marakwet County commits to improving public understanding of steps taken and procedures applied during public procurement by simplifying and facilitating ease of access to tender advertisements, publishing of tender evaluation and award results and feedback in efforts to expand opportunities for public participation in the procurement.
These commitments are anchored in the county’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) Local Action Plan II in which the county has participated since 2016. Under commitment two, the county seeks to expand spaces for participation by organized groups of citizens, including project committees and contractors on all procurement creating a fourteen-day window period where all tender evaluation i.e. winning and losing bid results are published for public commentary. This is complemented by strengthening public knowledge through civic education on procurement steps and procedures and, development of a framework for constituting, operationalizing and sustaining project management committees as well as simplification of tender documents
Commitments to open procurement ultimately enhances prudent utilization of and facilitates effectiveness and efficiency in the use of public resources to enhance delivery of public services and in the long run bring value for money into realization. With all open governance strategies and initiatives in place and a strong focus on community project implementation, Elgeyo Marakwet County positions itself as a champion of open government.