This was echoed by top procurement experts from Uganda as well as from outside the country at the recent graduation ceremony for Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) in Entebbe recently.
Craig Lardner, CIPS President advised graduates to stick to their professional ethics to safeguard their profession and rightly claim the mark of professional procurement managers.
Lardner said: “You should be able to differentiate between being qualified in procurement and supply and being professional.”
He added: “You can be qualified as you are now but this does not make you professional. Being qualified happens in a single moment of time but being professional does not happen in a single moment of time, it happens overtime.”
The graduates become fully-qualified members of CIPS with an internationally recognised award, which is achieved through studying CIPS qualifications, an accredited degree, the CIPS management entry route or CIPS corporate award.
But procurement experts want to go beyond Lardner’s moral suasion and instead draft a law that will regulate the practice of procurement as a profession just like the medical, legal or engineering professions.
This was revealed by Godfrey Lutimba Matovu, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Procurement Manager who also doubles as the CIPS Uganda Chairman. Lutimba told The Sunrise that a draft bill has been developed and will soon be tabled before Parliament with the view to strengthening the development of the procurement profession in Uganda.
Lutimba argued that given the central role played by procurement in almost every major organisation, there is a need to regulate it so as to hold practitioners accountable for their actions.
He also pointed at the rapid growth in the training of procurement officers at several universities in Uganda as a positive step in building the profession.
The proposed bill will also seek to institute the Institute of Procurement Professionals in Uganda (IPPU) as a body that will supervise and enforce professional codes of ethics governing the procurement profession. IPPU is an association of local procurement professionals, which was formed in 2008.
Lutimba said: “Whenever government agencies and other companies look for professional procurement officials, it will be IPPU to recommend.”