Factors Influencing Effective Public Procurement Performance: The Ministry Of Devolution and Planning
The performance of public procurement has become a fierce debate in matters concerning service delivery in the civil service at the national and county governments in Kenya. Procurement is still marred by shoddy works, poor quality goods and services despite the effort by the governments of developing countries and development partners like World Bank to improve performance of the procurement function. Despite the introduction of e-procurement, there are still major setbacks in public procurement ranging from poor procurement planning and management of the procurement process, needs that are not well identified and estimated, unrealistic budgets and inadequacy of skills of procurement staff responsible for procurement. The current study sought to establish the factors influencing effective public procurement performance at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning in Kenya. The study was hinged on the New Public Management theory, Agency theory, Transaction cost theory, Strategic Triangle theory and Iceberg model. The study specifically sought to establish the influence of staff competency, commitment and support from the top management, implementation of e-procurement technology and procurement planning on public procurement performance. This study employed a descriptive research design. The target population of this study consisted of all the employees at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The study used the Fisher formula to come up with a sample of 96 respondents in the study. The study findings indicated staff competency, top management support and procurement planning are positively and significantly associated with procurement performance while E-procurement technology is positively but insignificantly related to procurement performance. The study recommends that the Ministry of Devolution and Planning should put in place measures to improve staff competency. Some of the practices to improve staff competency should include conducting trainings, workshops and seminars that aim to improve the staff skills on operation flexibility regarding IFMIS system. The study also recommends that the Ministry of Devolution and Planning should encourage the top management to support implementation of procurement processes since top management support leads to better procurement performance. The top management should ensure that there is a balanced responsibility allocation, there is financial support for adoption of e-procurement and that there is support of activities regarding procurement procedures as well as spearheading adherence to procurement regulations.
Keywords: Staff Competency, Commitment and Support from the Top Management, e-procurement Technology, Procurement Planning, Public Procurement Performance