Guidelines and Standards for Acquisition of IT Hardware & Software for MDAs
The Government of Uganda recognizes the importance of Information and Communications Technology (IT) in economic development and has initiated major steps to promote its use. One of the major initiatives is to improve IT infrastructure so as to bridge the digital divide and lower the cost of communication.
The government is leveling the ground through formulation and implementation of policies and regulations aimed at attracting investment in the IT sector. There has been tremendous growth in the number of Institutions providing IT training, internet service providers, suppliers of computers and related accessories/equipment.
Due to lack of standards the IT industry has been facing challenges like proliferation substandard, counterfeit IT products.
The National Information Technology Authority-Uganda was established by the NITA-U Act 2009 with a mandate to coordinate, promote and monitor IT development within the context of National Social and Economic development.
As stipulated in the NITA-U Act 2009; functions of the Authority; Section 5(d); one of the core functions of NITA-U is “To regulate and enforce standards for Information Technology Hardware & software planning, equipment procurement in all Government Ministries, departments, agencies and Parastatals”.
In addition to that, the National IT Policy provides for the development and enforcement of Information Technology Standards and guidelines for software and hardware through public and private partnerships for harmonized and coordinated IT Systems across Government.
It is against this background that the NITA-U embarked on developing these sets of guidelines and minimum specifications to complement the PPDA regulations on Public procurement with specific reference to procurement of IT hardware and Software across Government MDAs.
These guidelines have therefore been developed in line with the above function and it spells out the rationale for establishing minimum specifications and guidelines for use in the procurement of Information Technology Hardware and Software products by MDAs the criteria for verification of IT products to ensure quality, value for money and the responsibilities of the different stakeholders.